Man with Mers travelled to Jeju Island with family members days before being diagnosed

SEOUL (KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - It has been revealed on Thursday that the 141th patient of Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) in South Korea had traveled to Jeju Island with his family several days before being confirmed of the infection.

Jeju Island officials said that they were notified by the central countermeasures headquarters on Wednesday that the patient had toured around the island with a total of eight companions including his wife, son and other family friends before returning to Seoul on June 8. The group had traveled by air.

The patient went to work on June 9, but after he started showing symptoms of fever and cough, he did not return to work the next couple days. He was first tested for Mers on June 12 and was later confirmed to be infected.

The patient had reportedly accompanied his father for a regular checkup at the Samsung Medical Centre, one of the hospitals where most of the infections occured, on May 27.

The health authorities are monitoring those who came in close contact with the patient, but none have reported any symptoms so far, news reports said.

The authorities said 31 employees of The Shilla Jeju Hotel, where he staying, who came in contact with the patient have been identified through closed circuit television and that they have been placed in isolated watch. The hotel will undergo emergency disinfection, they said.

Reports said the patient is the same who had created a ruckus at a different hospital in southern Seoul on June 12 while getting tested for Mers before fleeing back to his house by taxi. He was admitted to Seoul Medical Centre the next day.