South Korean medical workers wear protective gear at a separated clinic for MERS patients at Konkuk University Hospital, Seoul.
CNN  — 

Two more South Korean patients have died from MERS and another patient has contracted the virus, the country’s health ministry said Friday.

The announcement brings the total number of deaths from the South Korean outbreak to 31.

A total of 181 South Koreans have been infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus, including those who have died and those who have recovered.

Eighty-two patients are currently receiving treatment for MERS, the ministry said.

The outbreak has sparked international concern, stalled the nation’s economy and resulted in more than 100,000 canceled tourist visits to the country in the five weeks since a South Korean returning from the Middle East was confirmed infected in May.

READ MORE: South Korean MERS survivor speaks

The inability of authorities to contain the outbreak has seen President Park Geun-hye’s approval ratings plummet.

It is the largest outbreak of the virus outside of Saudi Arabia, where MERS – which belongs to the same family of viruses as SARS and the common cold – was first identified in 2012.

There have been more than 1,200 MERS cases and 400 deaths from the virus worldwide.

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CNN’s Jung-eun Kim contributed to this report from Seoul.