South Korea commences trial of experimental plasma treatment for MERS

16th June 2015 (Last Updated June 16th, 2015 18:30)

South Korea has reportedly commenced trials of an experimental plasma treatment for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), as part of efforts to control the disease in the country.

South Korea has reportedly commenced trials of an experimental plasma treatment for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), as part of efforts to control the disease in the country.

Earlier, the treatment was proved to have helped tackle diseases such as Ebola.

The Korea Times reported citing the Ministry of Health and Welfare that two individuals aged 35 and 38 years, who are infected with MERS virus, have received blood plasma injection treatment.

According to the South Korean health ministry, the two hospitals are being involved in the plasma treatment studies.

Around 19 people have died due to the respiratory disease and approximately 150 have been infected in the country.

Last week, South Korea closed two hospitals that treated patients with MERS to restrict the spread of the disease in the country.

The disease outbreak has been claimed to be the largest one outside Saudi Arabia, while it was first discovered in humans in 2012.

The 68-year-old man carried the virus from the Middle East to South Korea and visited various health centres for treatment before being diagnosed with the disease.

MERS, also known as Camel flu, is a viral respiratory infection caused by the newly identified MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

MERS-CoV, a betacoronavirus derived from bats and camels, was shown to have antibodies to MERS-CoV, but the exact source of infection in camels has not been identified.