The outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the huge megalopolis of Seoul from May to July last year was among the most chilling examples of how fast infectious diseases can spread in our modern world. From a single businessman who acquired the virus abroad, the disease jumped rapidly from person to person until 36 were dead, 186 infected and thousands were quarantined -- leaving huge swaths of the South Korean capital region, where 25 million people live, paralyzed with fear.
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