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South Korea resumes flights to Japan cancelled over MERS outbreak

July 15, 2015, 6:53 UTC+3 TOKYO

The first MERS case in South Korea was registered on May 20

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TOKYO, July 15. /TASS/. Two largest South Korean airlines Korean Air and Asiana Airlines plan to resume flights to Japan that were cancelled earlier over threats of MERS virus spread, Kyodo news agency reported on Wednesday.

Korean Air will resume flight to prefectures Aomori, Akita, Ishikawa and Kagoshima at the beginning of August, while Asia Airlines will fly to prefectures Toyama and Ehime at the end of July.

Media reported earlier that two largest South Korean airlines cancelled more than 190 flights between South Korea and Japan over outbreak of MERS coronavirus, in which 36 people died and 186 more were infected.

The first MERS case in South Korea was registered on May 20. The virus was brought by a South Korean national returning from a trip to the Middle East.

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory infection caused by the newly identified MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that is new to humans. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since spread to other countries, including Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France - 23 in all, where more than 1,100 MERS cases have been officially registered, of which 40% ended in patients’ deaths.

Most MERS-CoV patients develop severe acute respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and trouble breathing. About 3-4 out of every 10 MERS patients die. MERS-CoV is spread through close contact.

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