It was revealed Monday that the 141th patient of the Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak fled a hospital while waiting for a test result before being put into an isolated treatment facility the next day.
Gangnam Community Health Center said that the 42-year-old person had visited Samsung Medical Center on May 27 for a regular check-up, and appears to have come into contact with the disease while using a bathroom at the emergency center.
The patient started showing symptoms including fever, nausea, cough and sputum from June 9, but only reported to the health center on June 12.
An ambulance and a nurse were sent to the home of the patient, who decided to take a taxi instead and went to Gangnam Severance Hospital.
Gangnam Severance took samples of the patient’s sputum and isolated the patient at a separate treatment facility. But the patient reportedly threw a fit saying “If I have MERS I will spread it all around,” the officials said. Three other doctors who were nearby have since been put on isolated watch as a result of the incident.
The patient then refused to wait until the results came, broke the lock, took a taxi and returned home, according to reports. The patient was confirmed of MERS in the first round of testing.
After repeated phone calls to the patient and the patient’s family members, the person was finally admitted to Seoul Medical Center the next day, and the patient was again confirmed of MERS.
Health center officials said they are looking at closed circuit television footage and tracing the patient’s route. While the patient has testified to missing work after suffering from the symptoms, they are also looking into whether that is true, they said.