Global & Disaster Medicine

2 hospital outbreaks of MERS in Daejeon, the Republic of Korea


High fatality rates and associated factors in two hospital outbreaks of MERS in Daejeon, the Republic of Korea

Nam, Hae-Sung et al.
International Journal of Infectious Diseases



To explore the epidemiological and clinical factors predictive of the case fatality rate (CFR) of Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in an outbreak in Daejeon, the Republic of Korea.


We reviewed the outbreak investigation reports and medical records of 1 index case and 25 additional MERS cases in hospitals A (14 cases) and B (11 cases), and conducted an in-depth interview with the index case.


The CFR in hospital B was higher than that in hospital A (63.6% vs. 28.6%, respectively). Higher MERS-CoV exposure conditions were also found in hospital B, including aggravated pneumonia in the index case and nebulizer use in a six-bed admission room. The host factors associated with high CFR were pre-existing pneumonia, smoking history, an incubation period of less than 5 days, leukocytosis, abnormal renal function at diagnosis, and respiratory symptoms such as sputum and dyspnea.


The conditions surrounding MERS-CoV exposure and the underlying poor pulmonary function due to a smoking history or pre-existing pneumonia may explain the high CFR in hospital B. The clinical features described above may enable prediction of the prognosis of MERS cases.

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