SEOUL--The World Health Organization said on Saturday South Korea's outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was "large and complex" and more cases should be anticipated, but it saw no sign the disease is spreading in the community.
There was also no indication that the MERS virus in South Korea had changed to make it more transmissible, the WHO's assistant director general, Keiji Fukuda, told a news conference at the Health Ministry in Sejong, south of the capital, Seoul.
The virus has infected 138 people in South Korea and killed 14 of them since it was first diagnosed on May 20 in a businessman who had returned from a trip to the Middle East.
The outbreak is the largest outside Saudi Arabia, where the disease was first identified in humans in 2012, and has stirred fears in Asia of a repeat of a 2002-2003 scare when Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) killed about 800 people worldwide.
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"Because the outbreak has been large and is complex, more cases should be anticipated," said Fukuda, who is leading a WHO team that is conducted a joint review with South Korean officials of the country's response to the outbreak.
He said he was encouraged that South Korea's control measures were having an impact.
The businessman who brought MERS back to South Korea visited several health centres for a cough and fever before he was diagnosed, leaving a trail of infection in his wake.