By: Lee Ji-hye

A suspected case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was reported at an elementary school in Pyeongtaek, a southwestern city in Gyeonggi Province, education officials said Monday.

According to the Gyeonggi Province Pyongtaek Office of Education, a female student was reported with symptoms of MERS at the elementary school located in Pyeongtaek and later sent to a nearby health clinic for treatment.

“The female student had gone to St. Mary’s Hospital, Pyeongtaek, where the first patient was diagnosed with the MERS had received treatment,” an official at the education office was quoted as saying.

“In the case of an emergency, we have told all schools in the area to refrain from holding outside activities or large-group events.”

The office announced plans to close down the student’s school if her test results are positive.

There are currently 18 confirmed Korean patients, with three of them having received treatment at St. Mary’s Hospital.