[Ed. – Won’t be long before this hits the U.S., if the usual pattern holds.]
Fears of MERS in South Korea are growing by the day, with more than 2,300 people quarantined as the country grapples with the outbreak.
More than 1,800 schools will be closed for several days amid concerns of the spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome. They include at least 1,255 schools in Gyeonggi province, the area outside Seoul where the outbreak started and where a South Korean air force member stationed at a U.S. air base has been isolated with the illness.
Other closed schools are in the Gangnam region, near the Samsung Seoul hospital — the most affected hospital in the city.
In total, 87 people have contracted the virus, and six people have died, according to official numbers.
South Korea’s capital has asked more than 1,500 people to self-quarantine because they unknowingly attended a symposium with a doctor who was infected with MERS, Seoul’s mayor said.
Mayor Park Won-soon said all 1,565 people who attended the symposium should stay at home as a precaution to avoid spreading MERS in the unlikely event they contracted it at the meeting.
The mayor said the city is considering measures that would force these people to stay at home, and that officials are trying to determine where else the doctor traveled while he had symptoms.