With seven patients hospitalised since last month here in Korea due to pneumonia caused by an unidentified virus, a 36-year-old woman died on Tuesday, according to the centre for Disease Control.
She was admitted to hospital for tuberculosis at first, about a month ago, while pregnant, but developed pulmonary fibrosis and also suffered a stroke before she passed away.
The woman was induced to give premature birth for treatment purposes, but unfortunately the fast progress of fibrosis could not be stopped.
Six out of the seven patients are known to be women who have recently given birth or are expected to, but the head of the disease control agency said, in a phone interview with Korean broadcaster YTN, that there is no evidence as of yet that pregnancy is the direct link.
He added that because the patients were all admitted with cold-like symptoms, those with similar symptoms should be extra cautious and take appropriate measures to fully recover to prevent it from developing into another unfortunate case.
And the agency is currently running tests on tissue samples collected from the patients to identify the virus with the results expected to be revealed later this week.
However, because it takes eight weeks to get results from genetic tests officials say it might take some time to find out the exact cause.
Laah Hyun-kyung, Arirang News.