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China confirms first case of MERS, a South Korean man

BEIJING (AP) — China on Friday confirmed its first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in a South Korean businessman who ignored instructions to stay home after his father was diagnosed with the disease.

China’s National Heath and Family Planning Commission said the 44-year-old man was under quarantine in a hospital in the southern city of Huizhou and was confirmed to have MERS, which has killed hundreds of people in the Middle East.

The man is the son of a person in South Korea who has the disease, and traveled Tuesday to China despite being told by doctors to cancel the trip, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement. At least nine people in South Korea have contracted the disease, the first one after visiting Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

There have been more than 1,140 cases worldwide and at least 465 people have died, with the vast majority of the deaths in Saudi Arabia, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

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