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MERS Advisory

8th Medical Group.

8th Medical Group

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus, a virus believed to have originated in the Middle East and spread to the Republic of Korea, has not infected members of the Gunsan community at this time, and there are currently no travel restrictions for 8th Fighter Wing personnel.

Commonly known as MERS-CoV, this is a viral respiratory illness spread from ill people to others through close contact, such as healthcare settings or living with an infected person.

The disease was initially imported to Korea in late May and has been primarily associated with the Pyeongtaek/Songtan/Suwon area. 

As of June 5, there are a total of 41 confirmed cases in the ROK and approximately 1,400 Korean citizens under quarantine.

All confirmed cases have been limited to direct contact of a confirmed case or a hospital setting. 

Thus far, there have been no community infections at Kunsan, and no individuals in the Gunsan area have been quarantined.

As a protective measure, the Republic of Korea Air Force has placed a travel restriction on their personnel to the greater Pyeongtaek/Songtan/Suwon area and has issued protective masks to their hospital and security forces personnel.

While these restrictions do not apply to 8th FW personnel, the 8th Medical Group will continue to monitor the situation and explore future preventative actions should conditions change.

The typical symptoms of a MERS-CoV infection include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

How to protect yourself:
-- Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, or sharing cups or eating utensils, with suspected sick individuals.
-- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, if soap and water are not available.
-- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
-- Historically, 35% of confirmed MERS-CoV cases in the Middle East have resulted in death. 
-- Currently, there is no vaccine or cure available to protect against MERS-CoV. The U.S. National Institutes of Health are exploring the possibility of developing one.

Please contact Public Health at 782-4510 with any questions or concerns, and click here for Frequently Asked Questions.

The medical information in this article is a courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.