Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is an infectious disease firstly reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. Its cause is considered to be a kind of Corona Virus initially targeting camels. The patients suffer from severe symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Pneumonia and acute renal failure are known as complications. Its mortality rate is up to one-third.
Very recently, an outbreak of this dreadful illness emerged in Korea. The number of patients reached over one hundred, and more than ten patients have been killed for these two weeks.
The government decided to seal off the two hospitals in which infected people were staying to prevent further spread.
Try World: South Korea reports 11th death in MERS outbreak
In this outbreak, health professionals are suspected to be responsible. A half of the patients were infected in hospital. It is doubtful whether adequate precaution had been performed.
Nowadays, many people move across countries. So it is impossible to protect perfectly from the harmful introduction of foreign agents. Yet, prevention of secondary infection depend on the skills of medical staffs and hygiene strategy.
The damage of MERS to South Korea is unimaginable. Besides actual loss of lives, tourism will suffer from rapid decrease of foreign travelers.
I am afraid that we cannot deal with MERS if this virus enters Japan. Japanese physicians are not accustomed in such infectious diseases, except some specialists. Citizens will be panicked, as we hardly imagine that infectious diseases could be fatal even to young people.
Ebola outbreak has also not been terminated. We have to learn more about diseases rarely encountered in domestic.