South Korea's health ministry said on Tuesday (June 9) there were eight new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), bringing the total in the country to 95 with seven fatalities.

The new cases bring the total of MERS cases globally to 1,244, based on World Health Organisation (WHO) data, with at least 446 related deaths.

"Since the start in September 2012, we have 1,190 confirmed cases, including at least 444 deaths," WHO specialist, Peter Ben Embarek, told a news conference in Geneva.

Most of the disease's fatalities have been in the Middle East but memories are fresh in Asia of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which emerged in 2002-03 and killed about 800 people worldwide.

The WHO has not recommended travel restrictions and its director-general, Margaret Chan, said on Monday she believed South Korea would be able to control the spread.

But Embarek said there would be a decrease only when the link of transmission had been broken.

"All the cases are still linked to the same chain of transmission. We can expect to see further cases in the coming days, and that will happen until everybody that has been infected, has not had the opportunity to transmit it to other people, so as soon as everyone has been identified as cases and isolated immediately then we should see a decrease in cases," he said.

Some 2,892 people who may have had contact with MERS patients have been put under quarantine, some in hospitals but most at home. Authorities have said they are using mobile phones to track people who violate quarantine.

"We would not be surprised if we see a few cases coming up from the community. Again with that amount of hospitals involved and with that amount of contacts being followed, that involves a lot of people and a lot of interactions. Everything is being done to trace every and all cases that have been in contact with the patient," Embarek said.

The WHO began work on a joint mission with South Korean doctors and officials to review the country's response and analyse the virus and Embarek said work was under way to develop vaccines to combat it.

"There are ongoing works on vaccine development in different research institutions around the world. We were presented at the recent technical meetings in Middle East on MERS development about promising trials with new vaccines mainly targeted at the camel population, because that is one of the main sources of the virus for us, and that is where we should try to thwart or control the disease at the source," Embarek said.

The WHO has not recommended any curb on travel, but thousands of tourists have cancelled plans to visit South Korea.