South Korea MERS deaths rise to 16

World Today

A couple wears masks as a precaution against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus as they walk in Myeongdong, one of Seoul’s main shopping districts, Monday, June 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

South Korean health officials announced on Monday that a further two people have died from an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), bringing the total death toll in the country to 16.

Officials said five more people also tested positive for the virus, raising the total number of cases to 150.

But after a week-long review of the outbreak, experts from the World Health Organization and South Korea said there was no evidence to suggest the virus, currently confined around health facilities, is spreading.

The public transport system is being disinfected regularly to prevent the virus from spreading.

The South Korean defense ministry also said on Monday that there were no confirmed cases of MERS within the military, but there are two suspected cases.

The comments come after a South Korean airman tested positive for the virus nearly two weeks ago.

MERS belongs to the family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold and SARS, and can cause fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.

Story by the Associated Press