SEOUL - South Korea Friday reported its 36th death from MERS, although it has had no confirmed new cases of the virus in the past five days. The latest fatality, who had lung cancer, died while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Seoul, Yonhap news agency said, citing the health ministry. South Korea has confirmed 186 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome infections while more than 560 people remain in quarantine after possible exposure to the potentially deadly virus. A total of 125 of those diagnosed with the virus have recovered and been released from hospital.

The outbreak started on May 20 when a 68-year-old man was diagnosed after returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia. Since then the virus - for which there is no vaccine - has spread at an unusually rapid pace in Asia's fourth-largest economy, becoming the largest outbreak outside Saudi Arabia and sparking public alarm at home and elsewhere in the region. South Korea 's government is facing criticism for failing to stop the outbreak.