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S. Korea: Fourth Death in MERS Outbreak

Hospital workers and visitors wearing masks pass by a precaution against the MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, virus at a quarantine tent for people who could be infected with the MERS virus at Seoul National University Hospital in Seoul, South Kore

South Korea on Friday confirmed the death of a fourth victim of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak that has infected dozens of people in that country.

Health officials said a 76-year-old man died Thursday.

About 1,600 people have been quarantined in South Korea, most at home but some in medical institutions. The outbreak also has forced the closure of hundreds of schools and colleges in the country.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has demanded that everything be done to halt the outbreak, which began two weeks ago, brought into the country by a man returning from a business trip to the Middle East.

MERS, a coronavirus, is related to the one that infected thousands during the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and has no cure or vaccine. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and since has spread to several other countries.