A Look at Mers in South Korea

A total of 181 South Koreans have been infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus, including those who have died and those who have recovered. Eighty-two patients are currently receiving treatment for MERS, South Korean health authorities advised. The outbreak has sparked international concern, stalled the nation's economy and resulted in more than 100,000 cancelled tourist visits to the country in the five weeks since a South Korean returning from the Middle East was confirmed infected in May. The disease has since travelled to Thailand.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus is known as MERS and MERS-CoV is traced back to the Middle East; Dromedary camels are thought to be the source of infection. The virus can be spread person-to-person suggesting an air-borne disease. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Severe cases can have a rapid onset of respiratory illness, like pneumonia. There is no vaccine to prevent the virus.

MERS: Seoul hospital at centre of South Korean outbreak suspends services; death toll now at 15

A major Seoul hospital has suspended services after being identified as the epicentre of the spread of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that has killed 15 people since being diagnosed in South Korea on May 20.

The major hospital is Samsung Medical Centre in Irwon-dong sector of Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea. The medical centre was founded on 9 November 1994. As there is no safe data for foundation, we take 12:00:00 as the birth time (as per standard astrology practice) and cast a birth chart.


Balance at Birth is Sun 7 months, 17 days. Current Mahadasha is Rahu-Jupiter, which commenced on 8 March 2015.

In the birth chart, we find Ketu in the 4th house, and Rahu in the 10 house (Tula) with four other planets, Sun, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus retrograde. Note that houses 3--6-11 are all empty, malefics in these signs give resistance to disease. As a hospital is a place where disease and illness are cured, this is to be expected. Crowded 10th house - house of career in the world, suggest many resources are allocated by this institution toward the healing of disease. Mercury communicates the intention of the medical staff, Sun signifies surgery and operations, Jupiter - atmakaraka in this instance - (6th house in Navamsha) oversights with learning, philosophy and as this is a tertiary hospital, the teaching function.

In the navamsha chart, Moon occupies 3, Jupiter occupies 6, Mercury occupies 11, all functional benefics for the navamsha.



Current transit chart for Samsung Medical Centre

At the time of writing (June 2015) Rahu is transiting Virgo, the natural zodiac sign for illness and disease. For Samsung Medical Centre, birth chart, Rahu is 12th from natal 12, signifying losses, death, containment, captivity. Rahu receives full aspect from Mars and no protection from functional benefic planets.

The current outbreak in Korea shows the MERS virus' ability to hitch a ride on a commercial airline and then cause havoc once it lands. This past week, the U.S. CDC just issued updated guidance to doctors, warning them to be on the lookout for MERS in patients who've recently travelled to the Middle East or Korea.

The Korean outbreak grew so dramatically in part because doctors were slow to recognize the first case as MERS, says Peter Ben Embarek, head of the World Health Organization's MERS Task Force.

As with any outbreak, cultural factors also fuelled the spread of the virus, he says. "There is a habit in Korea of when you go to a doctor or hospital, you go and see several hospitals, in the days after, if you feel the need for a second opinion," he says. And that's exactly what happened in this outbreak.

  MERS circulates in dromedary camels in the Middle East, making them sick every now and then. When people work with a sick animal - or perhaps drink its milk - they may catch the virus. Then if an infected person seeks medical help, MERS can spread to dozens of people because the virus flourishes in hospitals.


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