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S. Korea reports one new case of MERS, bringing total to 182

 South Korea reported an additional case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Saturday,bringing the total number of people diagnosed with the disease here to 182.

    No additional fatalities have been reported since Friday with the country's death toll standing at 31, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

    The latest case involved a nurse who apparently got infected while treating a patient.

    Some 90 hospitals throughout the country have been affected by the disease, mostly by unknowingly treating MERS patients or carriers.

    A daily updated list of the MERS-affected hospitals is available at the health ministry's website.

    Out of the 182 people diagnosed, only 61 remained hospitalized as of Saturday as 90 of them have been discharged following complete recoveries.

    Since the country reported its first case on May 20, over 15,400 people have been subject to isolation for possible infection after coming in close contact with MERS patients.

    As of Saturday, 2,467 people remained in isolation as suspected cases, mostly at their own homes, according to the ministry.

    The number dropped from 2,931 on the previous day.

    The people in isolation are released once they show no symptoms of MERS for more than the known incubation period of 14 days for the disease.

    MERS is a viral respiratory disease first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Globally, its fatality rate had remained at over 40 percent until the outbreak in South Korea as there currently is no vaccine or treatment for the disease.

    The fatality rate of the disease in South Korea currently remains at around 17 percent.

    The health ministry earlier said over 90 percent of the fatalities here had involved patients with existing conditions, such as diabetes or cancer, which were apparently worsened by MERS. (Yonhap)