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14 new cases of MERS confirmed in South Korea

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By Catherine Hardy  with REUTERS, APTN
14 new cases of MERS confirmed in South Korea

14 new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, have been reported in South Korea in the last 24 hours.

We decided to cut rates in a pre-emptive move to contain the economic fallout from MERS - Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol

This brings the total of confirmed cases to 122. At least nine people have died so far.

Concern is beginning to spread across the region. Dozens of suspected cases have been tested in Hong Kong, although none have been confirmed.

This is the largest outbreak of the illness outside Saudi Arabia. It is thought to have been brought back to South Korea by a 68-year-old business man on a trip. All subsequent infections have been traced to the original patient and have occurred in health facilities.

Concern is also spreading to the economy of what is Asia’s fourth largest economy. South Korea’s Central Bank has cut interest rates to a record low of 1.50 percent.