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S. Korea monitors MERS patient contacts

Seoul, Sept. 10 (BNA): South Korea's government said today that it is keeping close tabs on 21 people who came in close contact with a man who tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

On Saturday, the 61-year-old man was diagnosed with the potentially life threatening disease after returning home from abroad. He was rushed to the emergency room of Samsung Medical Centre in southern Seoul upon his arrival at Incheon International Airport, South Korean news agency (Yonhap) reported.

The Korean Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said those on the plane, such as flight attendants, passengers, medical staff and immigration officials, have all been quarantined in their respective homes and are being monitored for signs of MERS.

Among them, a 24-year-old British woman who was on the same plane as the MERS patient and showed cold-like symptoms, such as fever, tested negative for the disease.

The KCDC initially put the number at 22 but revised it down by one after finding an error in a flight seating system. Those who came within two meters of the MERS patient are considered to have come in close contact.

Another 172 people living in Seoul who came in "ordinary" contact with the MERS patient will also be monitored by the health authorities, the KCDC said.



BNA 0725 GMT 2018/09/10