4 Jun 2015

Guam on alert for MERS virus

2:09 pm on 4 June 2015

The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Guam's Public Health Department to be on alert for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, which is a viral respiratory illness of the SARS family.

Pacific Daily News reports that the US warning comes as the deadly, contagious illness has affected dozens of people in South Korea, Guam's second largest tourism market, killing two people so far.

The Pacific Daily reports that according to the Guam Visitors Bureau, 800 to 1,200 South Korean tourists arrive on Guam every day.

The Center for Disease Control has also advised authorities in Guam that South Korea has taken extensive efforts to contain the outbreak, so no additional entry screening measures are recommended at this time.

Globally, WHO has been notified of at least 434 deaths and 1,154 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection related to the virus that causes MERS.