Mers Virus

Mers Virus

The Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) has made its way to China with the first positive case announced on May 29, 2015. The patient is a South Korean traveller who came to Guangdong province via Hong Kong on business. Mers has killed more than 400 people in Saudi Arabia since 2012 and is considered a deadlier but less infectious cousin of the Sars virus that killed 299 people in Hong Kong in 2003.

Hong Kong lifts red travel alert against South Korea after country deemed Mers-free

Chinese tourists visit Gyeongbok Palace in South Korea after the worst of the Mers crisis. Photo: EPA

The Hong Kong government today lifted its long-standing travel warning against South Korea after the country was declared Mers-free.

Saturday, 1 August, 2015, 12:06pm

Hong Kong study uncovers immune system key to Mers high death rate

Hong Kong study uncovers immune system key to Mers high death rate

University of Hong Kong researchers have found Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) is capable of disarming a person's immune defence system in a matter of hours.

31 Jul 2015 - 9:34am 1 comment

South Korea touts deep travel discounts for Hongkongers following deadly Mers outbreak there

Steve Lee, of the Korea Tourism Organisation. Photo: Dickson Lee

South Korean officials yesterday unveiled a strategy to lure back Hong Kong tourists with discounts and gifts, after the outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) caused a 75 per cent drop in the number of visitors from the city last month.

The Korea Tourism Organisation said 13,949 tourists visited from Hong Kong last month, down from 54,884 in the same month last year.

31 Jul 2015 - 2:57am

Hong Kong tourists rush to grab early-bird trip deals after South Korea declared Mers-free

Visitors could soon be flocking back to Seoul. Photo: AP

Hongkongers were quick to sign up for early-bird tours to South Korea yesterday as Seoul declared the effective end of its outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers).

29 Jul 2015 - 11:17am 1 comment

South Korea declares Mers outbreak is over as last patient undergoes treatment for deadly virus

A hospital worker (left) checks the temperature of visitors to the Samsung Medical Centre in Seoul, where most of the Mers cases came from. The hospital recently resumed operations after a quarantine-related shutdown. Photo: AFP

South Korea today declared the effective end to a deadly outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) that killed 36 people, triggered widespread panic and stymied growth in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

However, with one patient still undergoing treatment in hospital, the announcement by Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn stopped short of formally declaring South Korea Mers-free.

28 Jul 2015 - 8:29pm

A cure for Mers? Hong Kong scientists endorse two drugs they say cured marmosets of the virus

The marmosets responded well.

A breakthrough study by the University of Hong Kong has found two existing drugs offer the best hope of beating the Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) coronavirus that has claimed hundreds of lives globally since its emergence three years ago.

29 Jul 2015 - 4:35pm 1 comment

South Korea removes last person from quarantine over Mers

Hospital workers wear face masks at the lobby of Samsung Medical Center in southern Seoul. Photo: AFP

South Korean health authorities said on Monday they lifted the at-home quarantine for a suspected case of infection with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers)  coronavirus, leaving no one subject to isolation over Mers for the first time in over two months.

27 Jul 2015 - 9:54pm

Chinese tourists stay away as South Korea struggles to recover from MERS crisis

Tourists wearing masks to prevent contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) look at a tour map of Seoul at Myeongdong shopping district, in central Seoul.  Photo: Reuters

The recent outbreak of the deadly MERS virus in South Korea has left the country’s tourist industry in intensive care, with visitor numbers plunging more than 40 percent in June, according to data released Tuesday.

21 Jul 2015 - 9:06pm 2 comments

Hong Kong travel agencies set to offer cut-price tours to South Korea

People wear masks as a precaution against an outbreak of the Mers virus in South Korea. Photo: AP

Local travel agencies are preparing cut-price deals for when tours resume to South Korea, which has been hit by Middle East respiratory syndrome.

18 Jul 2015 - 3:45am

To fight off a potential Mers virus outbreak, health and government officials must be totally honest

Anyone who remembers the Sars outbreak in early 2003 is likely to get nervous about an infectious disease hitting Hong Kong. Photo: Sam Tsang

A few weeks ago, a private clinic in Tsing Yi MTR station alerted authorities to a possible case of Middle East respiratory syndrome. According to reports, a woman who had recently visited South Korea went to the clinic with flu-like symptoms. She was taken to hospital, and health workers sealed off the clinic for sterilisation.

9 Jul 2015 - 12:02pm

Major Hong Kong tour firm’s business cut 4pc due to South Korea Mers outbreak

While travellers were avoiding South Korea, Wally, the Where's Wally character, arrived in Hong Kong yesterday for a six-day exhibition at Harbour City. Photo: SCMP pictures

Major Hong Kong tour firm’s business cut 4pc due to South Korea Mers outbreak

The outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome in South Korea has prompted Wing On Travel – one of Hong Kong’s largest tour operators – to slash its forecast for business growth by up to 4 percentage points.

8 Jul 2015 - 11:41am

36-year-old foreigner is Philippines' second confirmed Mers case

A customs inspector wearing a face mask talks to flight passengers from South Korea upon their arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. Photo: Reuters

A foreigner who flew to the Philippines from the Middle East has become the second confirmed case of Mers in the country, the health department said yesterday, as a deadly outbreak in South Korea spreads alarm across Asia.

7 Jul 2015 - 1:15am

Hong Kong considers extending health watch on South Korea as new Mers infections confirmed

People wear masks as a precaution against an outbreak of the Mers virus in South Korea. Photo: AP

Hong Kong is considering extending its watch on the health situation in South Korea after two new cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome were reported in that country.

A "red" travel alert for South Korea was first issued on June 9, which health authorities earlier said they would only consider cancelling if no new cases of the virus were reported for 28 consecutive days.

3 Jul 2015 - 5:32pm

South Korea reports 33rd Mers death but has gone three days with no new diagnosis

South Korea's largest hospital, the Samsung Seoul Medical Centre in Seoul where many people have been diagnosed. Photo: AFP

South Korea said today it had gone three days without any new cases of the deadly Mers virus, in a welcome boost to efforts to tackle the largest outbreak outside Saudi Arabia.

The news came as the health ministry said an 81-year-old woman who contracted Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in late May had become the 33rd fatality from the current outbreak.

30 Jun 2015 - 7:34pm

Thailand's first Mers case declared free from deadly virus

Medical personnel wear masks to prevent contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) as they work at a screening point at a private hospital in Bangkok. Photo: Reuters

An Omani man who became Thailand’s first case of Middle East Respiratory Sydnrome (MERS) has been declared free of the deadly virus, Thailand’s health ministry said today.

The 75-year-old man, who had travelled to Bangkok for treatment for a heart condition and was then diagnosed with the virus, will remain in quarantine for the time being.

29 Jun 2015 - 8:07pm