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Korea searches for 50 foreigners possibly exposed to MERS

South Korea (The Korea Herald) -- South Korean health authorities are searching for some 50 foreign nationals who may have been in contact with the recently confirmed Middle East respiratory syndrome patient, including those who arrived in Incheon from Dubai on the same flight Friday.

Travellers are being inspected for fever upon their arrival at South Korea`s Incheon International Airport on Monday.  --Photo Yonhap

The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said it was difficult to track the individuals down, as foreign travelers in Korea usually do not have local phone numbers.
Authorities are going through public surveillance camera footage, as well as local accommodations, in the hopes of locating the travelers and having them tested for the infectious disease.
The Korean patient, 61, was diagnosed with MERS in Seoul on Saturday after returning from a business trip to Kuwait the day before. He took two flights to get home via Dubai -- Emirates EK 860 from Kuwait to Dubai, and Emirates EK 322 from UAE to South Korea.
Flight EK 322, carrying some 440 people including the patient, arrived in Incheon from Dubai at 4:51 p.m. on Friday.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon suggested on Monday that the patient may have been informed of his MERS infection during his stay in Kuwait, prior to his return home.
The fact that the patient asked his wife to wear a mask prior to meeting him at the airport, and that he chose to take a cab by himself when he rushed to a hospital in Seoul upon his arrival in Incheon led him to that conclusion, the mayor said.
It has been confirmed that the patient’s wife drove separately to the hospital from the airport.
The incubation period for MERS -- that is, the time between exposure to the MERS virus and the onset of symptoms -- ranges from two to 14 days, and it is believed that MERS patients are contagious beginning one day before symptoms develop.



(Latest Update
September 12,
2018)


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