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Bill Self ‘not concerned’ about MERS outbreak ahead of team’s trip to South Korea


The MERS outbreak in South Korea has not, to date, affected the plans of Bill Self or the Kansas basketball team as they prep for a trip to Gwangju for the World University Games later this month, the Jayhawk head coach told reporters on Monday.

“I’m not concerned about it,” Self said, according to the Kansas City Star. “If there was any danger at all, the U.S. doctors (and) delegation won’t allow anybody to go. I’m not the least bit concerned yet. Of course, if it becomes a concern, obviously, that would take place then. But all indications our, from what I’ve heard, that is the longest of long shots.”

MERS is the Middle East Respiratory Virus, and since May 20th, more than 150 people have been infected in South Korea. At least 15 have died. The outbreak can be traced back to a single man who returned from Korea after visiting the Middle East, and according to a report from NBC News, the spread is a direct result from the amount of foot traffic hospitals get in the country. Patients “doctor shop”, visiting multiple health care providers before selecting a physician, and it’s customary in South Korea to visit loved ones in the emergency room.

Kansas is representing the United States in the World University Games. The games begin in July, but the team plans to travel to the Asian nation on June 28th.