In South Korea, the last patient suspected of having Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) was released from the hospital July 27, with officials declaring a “de facto end” to the MERS outbreak that began in late May. An official end to the outbreak will likely be declared in late August, as World Health Organization rules require a 28-day waiting period following recovery of the last patient.
No new cases of MERS have been diagnosed in Korea since July 4, with the total number of confirmed cases remaining at 186 and the death toll at 36. The outbreak had a severe impact on economic activity – including restaurant traffic – in June, but Korea has seen a gradual recovery in consumer activity in July. Last week the Korean National Assembly approved nearly $10 billion in supplemental spending to help Korea’s economy recover from the MERS fallout.