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First MERS virus case discovered in Europe after outbreak in South Korea kills 14 people

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
The South Korean man thought to have contracted MERS was hospitalised in the Slovak capital Bratislava yesterday
The South Korean man thought to have contracted MERS was hospitalised in the Slovak capital Bratislava yesterday

The first case of the MERS virus has been discovered in Europe after an outbreak in South Korea killed 14 people.

The South Korean man thought to have contracted MERS was hospitalised in the Slovak capital Bratislava yesterday.

The man reportedly arrived in Slovakia on 3 June and works for a subcontractor of Seoul carmaker Kia, which runs a plant in the central European country.

The new cases put the total number of infections of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in South Korea at 145, the health ministry said.

Four of the new cases were infected in Samsung Medical Centre in Seoul, one of the country's largest hospitals where more than 70 people have contracted the virus, it said.

Separately, a paramedic who helped transport a MERS patient to the hospital on 7 June was infected.

Yesterday, authorities announced that the ambulance driver also involved in transporting the patient, who died three days later, had also been infected.

One of the other new patients was infected in the central city of Daejeon and another in Hwaseong, about 43km south of Seoul.

The ministry reported no new fatalities, and said ten patients so far had recovered and been released from hospital.

In order to prevent further infections among patients and medical staff, Samsung hospital this morning temporarily suspended most of its operations.