The number of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases in South Korea have jumped to 25 cases with each with hospital links to the initial case in the South Korean man who contracted the virus in Bahrain.

According to a CIDRAP report, the cluster is the largest so far outside of Saudi Arabia.

Of the newest cases reported yesterday, these include the country’s first tertiary infections as two people were found to have contracted the virus from a secondarily-infected patient.

In addition, health officials have reported the first two deaths linked to the MERS virus.

According to the World Health Organization, infection prevention and control measures are critical to prevent the possible spread of MERS-CoV in health care facilities. It is not always possible to identify patients with MERS-CoV early because like other respiratory infections, the early symptoms of MERS-CoV are non-specific. Therefore, health-care workers should always apply standard precautions consistently with all patients, regardless of their diagnosis.

Droplet precautions should be added to the standard precautions when providing care to patients with symptoms of acute respiratory infection; contact precautions and eye protection should be added when caring for probable or confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection; airborne precautions should be applied when performing aerosol generating procedures.

See the list of 25 cases in South Korea below (from the Korean Health & Human Welfare):