MERS Outbreak Shows Failures of South Korea’s Public Health System

An official wearing a mask as a precaution against the MERS virus works at the Dongdaemun District Office, Seoul, South Korea, June 18, 2015 (AP photo by Ahn Young-joon).
An official wearing a mask as a precaution against the MERS virus works at the Dongdaemun District Office, Seoul, South Korea, June 18, 2015 (AP photo by Ahn Young-joon).

On Friday, South Korea announced the 36th death from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), though no new cases have been reported in five days. In an email interview, Myoungsoon You, an assistant professor of public health at Seoul National University, discussed South Korea’s public health system and its response to the MERS outbreak. WPR: How robust is South Korea’s public health system, and what measures are in place to contain outbreaks such as MERS? Myoungsoon You: The MERS outbreak has exposed great weaknesses in South Korea’s public health system. Lack of necessary services such as negative room pressure systems […]

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