Am I spooked about MERS here in lovely South Korea? No. I wash my hands when I’m supposed to, my diet is decent, and I get regular exercise. Statistically I’m about as safe as possible.
Is the situation here in South Korea kinda sorta ridiculous? Well, yes.
To give credit where it’s due, it sounds like authorities are doing their best to track anyone who came into contact with “Patient Zero.” However, as can be expected with a new disease, he went to four different hospitals and exposed four different groups of health care workers.
Beyond that, it’s pretty much a clusterfuck. Shutting down hundreds of schools in a non-targeted way is just going to spread panic and make people less likely to want to come forward if they come down with symptoms.
Also, this is what scares me more than anything else:
“A 44-year-old South Korean man infected with the Mers virus who allegedly gave false information to medical officers during a check at Hong Kong’s airport could face prosecution if he returned to the city, health minister Dr Ko Wing-man said today.
‘The man gave false information when passing our port. We are taking the case very seriously, Ko said at a special Legislative Council meeting today to discuss the city’s response to Middle East respiratory syndrome.”
They should extradite and prosecute with extreme prejudice.
South Korea has a very strong, very modern health care system and infrastructure in place to deal with this sort of thing (better than the US’s IMO, because everyone here can afford to go to the hospital if they feel sick). But in a country where red lights are more of a suggestion than they are an enforceable rule, yeah, if this gets any worse it’s going to be because people willingly break quarantine, not because of any structural inability to deal with an outbreak a la Ebola in the U.S.
My 2 won of course.
Also, this is something I’d heard about but never really looked up. Way back in 2005 during the SARS outbreak, South Korean “scientists” discovered that kimchi can cure bird flu.
Highly reminsicent of this recent article: “Green Juice Will Not Cure Your Cancer.”