The number of people who have contracted Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in South Korea rose to 185 Sunday, the South Korean government told Yonhap news agency. The number of people added to the infected list was not disclosed immediately, however, a doctor was among those confirmed to be carrying the virus.
The death toll remained the same as of Sunday morning at 33, meaning no one has died from the disease for five days.
The doctor reported to be infected Saturday works at the Samsung Medical Facility where 50 percent of the reported infections originated. The virus first made its way back into the country May 20 when a 68-year-old man returned from a trip to the Middle East, traveling from Bahrain and Qatar. The first fatality occurred in early June.
The MERS virus comes from camels. Scientists traced the virus in camels to the early 1990s; however, the first diagnosed case in a human occurred two decades later in 2012. The disease is much more deadly in humans than camels. The human mortality rate is 40 percent; however, the rate is much lower for camels. Usually when a camel is infected with MERS, it gets the sniffles and survives.
There is no known cure for MERS ; however, there are a couple of promising treatment options in development in New York state.
In the aftermath of the outbreak in South Korea, 20,000 tourists reportedly canceled travel plans to the country. The government plans $13.5 billion in stimulus money to counteract negative effects on the economy.