It is the first time a pregnant woman has been diagnosed with MERS in Korea, and she claims that she was denied testing several times.
According to YTN, a parturient patient in her 40s named Ms. Lee was diagnosed with MERS on June 1. Ms. Lee, who was expecting to deliver this month, caught the virus after visiting her sick mother on May 27 at the emergency room of Samsung Seoul Hospital, where the 14th patient diagnosed with MERS had been receiving treatment.
Ms. Lee’s mother and father have been diagnosed with MERS, and she contracted the virus as well despite only staying in the hospital for approximately an hour. Medical personnel are having difficulties in approaching Ms. Lee’s treatment as this is their first time dealing with a MERS patient who is pregnant. MERS is a disease without a direct cure, so while only symptoms can be treated, personnel are wary of administering drugs to Ms. Lee given her pregnant state.
According to YTN, Ms. Lee requested testing for MERS several times because she was experiencing severe muscle pains and minor difficulties in breathing. She claims that just because she did not have a fever, the hospital refused to test her.
Meanwhile, there are no specific studies on how MERS affects fetuses. There are, however, a few bleak cases from the Middle East. In 2012, a pregnant woman infected with MERS in Jordan had a stillbirth five months into her pregnancy. In the United Arab Emirates in 2013, a pregnant woman with MERS managed to give birth to a healthy child but died afterwards.