South Korea battles deadly MERS outbreak as GeneOne eyes vaccine

Two deaths were reported by South Korea related to Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, with at least 25 people infected with the virus, Bloomberg said, citing the country's health ministry from a televised briefing Tuesday.

Another 690 people who may be at risk of MERS have been told to stay at home, while about 100 were placed in isolation at government-designated hospitals, Bloomberg said.

The deaths have heightened public health concerns and the government took flak for failure to contain the virus after a South Korean man supposedly under medical surveillance last week traveled from Seoul to China and was diagnosed as that country's first MERS case, Bloomberg said.

This week, South Korea's GeneOne Life Science said it will work with Nasdaq-listed Inovio Pharmaceuticals ($INO) in clinical trials for a DNA vaccine for MERS in South Korea.

More than 1,100 people have been infected with the coronavirus that is believed to have originated in the Arabian Peninsula, with a death toll of more than 400, according to Bloomberg, citing the World Health Organization.

- here's the story from Bloomberg