December 03, 2015 10:56
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was the most searched keyword on Korea's largest online portal sites Naver and Daum, and mobile messenger app KakaoTalk from January to November this year.
Many Koreans were quite unware of MERS until early this year as there was no patients with MERS here, making virtually no information on the disease readily available at the time.
However, nationwide concern ensued as over 180 people were diagnosed with MERS this summer, and thousands of people were quarantined. This has led to a sudden soar in the number of people searching for symptoms of the disease and prevention measures.
But it was not only MERS that people in Korea were concerned about this year. Fine dust particles that pollute the air also sparked interest.
In fact, the increase in the number of searches for fine dust particles was bigger than that of MERS in mobile searches. "Such trends reflect that people are keener about health-related issues," said a staffer at Naver.
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