More than 700 people have been put into isolation, and more
than 200 schools have been closed to limit the spread of the disease, according to Newsweek.
However, "given the number of clinics and hospitals that
cared for the index case, further cases can be expected," the WHO said in a
This is the largest outbreak outside of Saudi Arabia, where
the disease first appeared in 2012. There is no known cure or vaccination,
but South Korea's advanced medical system and quick communication with the WHO
should help in this situation.
"There is a lot more transparency here than on the Arabian
peninsula," Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for
Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told USA Today.
Osterholm has been in contact with the South Korean doctors that
are treating the patients. The concern about MERS spreading even further is foremost
in the minds of health officials.
"The fact that MERS has spread around the world is not
surprising," Osterholm said. "The question is, 'Where is it going to
spread to next?' It could very easily come to America. Very easily. Any flight
could contain someone who was infected in the Middle East."