Health Highlights: June 7, 2015

By on June 7, 2015

Health Highlights: June 7, 2015

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

5th Person Dies From MERS in South Korea

A fifth person has died in South Korea from the Middle Eastern Respiratory (MERS) virus, and government officials there are taking additional steps to control the spread of the virus.

More than 2,300 people are under quarantine and more than 1,300 schools will be closed for at least a few days, according to a CNN report. Currently, 64 people have the virus, including a member of the South Korean air force, the report said.

At least 1,500 of those quarantined attended a symposium in Seoul, the country’s capital. A doctor attending the symposium has been diagnosed with MERS. Seoul’s mayor said the quarantine was a precaution, but it was unlikely that anyone at the meeting contracted MERS at the meeting.

The MERS outbreak in South Korea is the largest outside of Saudi Arabia, where MERS was first discovered. South Korea isn’t the only country dealing with MERS. More than 1,000 cases of the virus have been reported in 25 countries, including two in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. The U.S. cases were in health care workers who lived in Saudi Arabia, CNN said.

It’s still not clear exactly how the virus infects people, but transmission does require close contact with someone who is sick, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC experts recommend washing your hands often, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue if you cough or sneeze and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth if you haven’t recently washed your hands.

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