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S. Korea confirms 4th MERS case

All Headlines 02:18 May 26, 2015

SEOUL, May 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea confirmed a fourth case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Tuesday, saying a daughter of the third patient was found to have been infected with the viral virus.

The new patient is believed to have contracted the virus from the first patient, just as her father did. She stayed for four hours at a hospital room her 76-year-old father shared with the first patient, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

After her father was diagnosed with the disease, she was placed in isolation at her home. As her fever rose to over 38 degrees Celsius earlier Tuesday, she was sent to a state-designated hospital and then tested positive for the virus, officials said.

She is currently in a stable condition, they said.

The first patient, a 68-year-old man, was diagnosed with the disease after he had travelled to the Middle East in mid-April and returned home on May 4. All three other confirmed cases were transmitted from him, including his wife, according to CDC.

Identities of the patients were withheld for privacy reasons.

MERS is a viral respiratory illness that is fairly new to humans, with only 1,142 reported cases in 23 countries since the first case was confirmed in Saudi Arabia in 2012. There currently is no vaccine or treatment for the disease, which has a very high fatality rate of 40.7 percent.

Despite such a high fatality rate, the disease is said to be less contagious than most other infectious diseases, the CDC has said, adding that it is transmitted only through a "significant amount of direct contact."

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