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Korea reports no new cases of MERS for 5 straight days

The number of people diagnosed with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea remained unchanged at 186 as the country saw no new cases of the potentially deadly disease over the past five days, the government said Friday.
The country's MERS death toll also has remained unchanged since Wednesday at 35, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Ministry officials said the country may be able to declare an end to the MERS outbreak if it continues to see no new infection cases.
However, 566 people still remain in isolation as suspected cases following possible exposure to the MERS coronavirus.
Since the country reported its first case on May 20, nearly 16,700 people have been subject to isolation for possible infection. So far, 16,102 of them have been released after showing no symptoms of MERS for more than the known maximum incubation period of 14 days for the disease.
Out of those diagnosed, 125 have been discharged from hospitals following complete recoveries.

The remaining 26 were still hospitalized as of Friday, according to the ministry. Of those being treated at hospitals, seven were listed in "unstable" condition.
Authorities, meanwhile, said as of midnight, KyungHee University Hospital in Gangdong, southeastern Seoul, will be allowed to resume normal operations after no new MERS cases have been reported there in the past two weeks. Several hospitals around the country were ordered to partially suspend treatment or were closed outright, after multiple cases of MERS were reported among patients and visitors. Restrictions on most have since been lifted.
MERS is a viral respiratory disease that is still fairly new to humans. The disease has claimed over 530 lives globally, posting a fatality rate of over 36 percent.
In South Korea, the fatality rate remains at 18.8 percent, with most people succumbing to MERS having underlying medical conditions.
There currently is no vaccine or treatment for the disease that was first reported only in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. (Yonhap)