Tags: north korea | vaccine | mers

North Korea Vaccine Claims Say Drug Can Prevent, Cure MERS Virus

Image: North Korea Vaccine Claims Say Drug Can Prevent, Cure MERS Virus
(Evgenyi Gromov/Dreamstime.com, Illustration)

By    |   Friday, 19 Jun 2015 04:40 PM

North Korea's state-run news agency reported that scientists there have developed a vaccine for the MERS virus while South Korea fights to contain the disease with 24 confirmed deaths and 166 infections.

The Korean Central News Agency stated Friday that North Korea's Pugang Pharmaceutic Co. had developed the vaccine called Kumdang-2. The drug, made from ginseng along with other Earth elements, can prevent the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and other contagious diseases, according to Sputnik News.

"As a strong immune-activator, the injection has been recognized to prevent different malignant epidemics," the KCNA quoted Jon Sung-hun, a doctor and director of the pharmaceutical company Pugang, according to Sputnik News.

The company developed a website for the vaccine, with language in English and Russian, stating "Everyone has the right to be healthy."

"Kumdang-2 injection is [an] herbal medicine extracted from Kaesong Koryo insam (ginseng) cultivated in Kaesong DPR Korea by applying rare-earth molecular fertilizer," the website says. "It contains insam saccharides, light rare earth elements, a micro-quantities of gold and platinum."

However, the legitimacy of the claim is under scrutiny.

"North Korea has made some wacky claims over the years — like the one about discovering unicorns and the photos showing Kim Jong-un at the top of a snow-capped Mount Paekdu, which would have you believe he apparently climbed in dress shoes," wrote The Washington Post's Anna Fifield. "But Friday's assertion that a North Korean pharmaceutical company has trumped global science and come up with a vaccine for MERS has got to be right up there."

In the meantime, MERS has now been confirmed in 26 countries as Thailand officially recorded its first case.

A man in Thailand, who had traveled to the Middle East earlier in the month, was being treated at a Bangkok hospital and was listed in stable condition, CNN reported. The disease has mostly affected victims in the Middle East and eastern Asia, stated the network.

Kwon Deok-cheol, an official with the South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, told a news conference that he believe MERS has "leveled off" there.

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North Korea's state-run news agency reported that scientists there have developed a vaccine for the MERS virus while South Korea fights to contain the disease with 24 confirmed deaths and 166 infections.
north korea, vaccine, mers
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2015-40-19
Friday, 19 Jun 2015 04:40 PM
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