Health Highlights: June 8, 2015

By on June 8, 2015

Health Highlights: June 8, 2015

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

Sixth MERS Death in South Korea

A sixth person in South Korea has died from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, and officials have increased efforts to halt the spread of the virus that has infected 87 people in the country since last month.

The sixth victim is an 80-year-old man who tested positive for MERS last week and died Monday, according to the Health Ministry, the Associated Press reported.

More than 2,000 people are isolated in their homes or state-run facilities after having contact with infected people, and about 1,870 schools are closed. The MERS outbreak in South Korea is the largest outside the Middle East.

There is no reason to believe that MERS will spread significantly further in South Korea, Deputy Prime Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said at a news conference Sunday, the AP reported.

“So far, all the MERS cases have been hospital-associated, and there has been no case of an infection in other social settings. We think we have a chance at putting the outbreak under total control,” Choi said.

There is no evidence in South Korea of “sustained transmission in the community,” according to the U.N. health agency.

There is no vaccine for MERS, which experts say is spread through close contact with infected people and not through the air.

South Korea’s government plans to increase its monitoring of hundreds of potentially infected but undiagnosed people quarantined in their homes. Measures include tracking their whereabouts through their cellphone signals, the AP reported.

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