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Condition of China's first MERS patient tends to worsen

Source: Xinhua

Updated: 2015-06-02

GUANGZHOU, June 1 (Xinhua) -- The condition of China's first confirmed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) patient tends to worsen, while authorities in southern Guangdong Province are still looking for ten people who had close contact with him.

A man from the Republic of Korea (ROK) tested positive for MERS in Guangdong Friday. He is being treated at Huizhou Municipal Central Hospital.

An expert with the provincial health and family planning commission said Monday that the man was feverish and, although his vital signs were stable on the whole, his condition tends to worsen.

"We communicate by writing Chinese and Korean on a white board. He is very cooperative and can eat food properly," said Li Chunmei, a nurse at the hospital.

The man, 44, had visited a MERS patient at a ROK hospital and expressed discomfort as early as May 21.

Despite a doctor recommending that he cancel his travel plans, he flew to Hong Kong on May 26 and entered Huizhou City via Shenzhen.

On Sunday, the commission increased the number of people who had been in close contact with the patient to 77. Among them, 67 have been quarantined while ten bus passengers are yet to be found as of Monday.

None of those in quarantine are showing any symptoms of MERS.

Fu Ling, vice dean of the hospital, said experts from the provincial and central health authorities had been despatched to oversee treatment.

She is confident that the virus can be controlled, citing experience gained from outbreaks of bird flu and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

SARS was first reported in 2002 in Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong. It killed around 800 people in the world. In addition, Guangdong is one of the Chinese provinces that has dealt with H7N9 bird flu cases since it emerged in 2013.

Huizhou City residents are not panicking and, as of Monday, the hospital had not reported a decline in patient admissions, Xinhua reporters said.

MERS is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus, similar to SARS. The first human case emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012. There is no vaccine or treatment for the disease, which has a fatality rate of about 40 percent.


Link: China's Central Government / World Health Organization / United Nations Population Fund / UNICEF in China

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