WHO, S.Korea to conduct joint probe into MERS spread

Updated: 2015-06-08 15:56


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SEOUL - The World Health Organization (WHO) and South Korea will conduct joint investigation into the country' s spread of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) for five days from Tuesday, the health ministry said Monday.

The joint mission will be composed of 16 experts, who will discuss epidemiological investigations into confirmed cases and infection control, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The mission will visit hospitals where MERS infections had been identified or quarantined patients had been kept, analyzing the characteristics of the MERS corona virus in South Korea in cooperation with the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The joint investigation results will be released on Saturday after reporting to South Korean Health Minister Moon Hyung-pyo, the ministry said.

The joint mission will be co-headed by Keiji Fukuda, WHO's assistant director-general for health security, and Lee Jong-koo, head of JW LEE Center for Global Medicine under Seoul National University's medicine college.

As of Monday, MERS infections in South Korea surged to 87 as 23 new cases were identified. The country became the world's most MERS-contagious except Saudi Arabia, where more than 1,000 cases were detected.