June 16, 2015 8:39 AM EDT

South Korean hospitals have launched clinical trials for an experimental treatment of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a potentially lethal virus that has claimed 19 lives since it first broke out across the country four weeks ago.

The country’s health ministry said Tuesday that two hospitals will use blood plasma from patients who recovered from the disease to treat those who are currently infected, the BBC reports.

Some 150 South Koreans have tested positive for MERS and a further 5,200 have been quarantined as officials work to contain the outbreak. The first lethal infection reached Germany on Tuesday, as a 65-year-old man succumbed to the disease in a clinic in Osnabruck.


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