After South Korea, MERS Detected in Thailand

A 75-year-old man who was traveling from Oman has been detected with the MERS virus. 

1 min read
File photo of workers disinfecting a sub-way at Seoul Metro’s base. (Photo: Reuters)

Thailand confirmed its first known case of MERS on Thursday. It’s a 75-year-old man who recently arrived from Oman for treatment of a heart condition.

Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin said two laboratories had confirmed the results. The man has been quarantined at the ministry’s infectious diseases facility, he said.

He said the patient was traveling with three other family members, who also are being watched at the facility. Public health officials are also monitoring others who were in contact with the man, including nearby passengers on the airplane.

Rajata said the man didn’t have any symptoms while traveling on the plane, but began to have fatigue and difficulty breathing after he was admitted to a private hospital for treatment of his heart condition. People from the Middle East frequently come to Thailand for medical care.

We advise the public not to panic because the patient and his family members were separated since the beginning. Our system is ready and we are monitoring the cases closely.
– Rajata Rajatanavin, Public Health Minister

Thanarath Phalipat, director of the Bureau of Epidemiology, said 59 people who were in contact with the patient have been identified so far by the ministry. This includes health personnel, hotel employees, passengers who sat two rows in front and behind the patient on the plane, and two taxi drivers.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has killed 23 people and sickened more than 160 in the past month in South Korea. This is the biggest outbreak outside the region where it was first seen in 2012.

(With inputs from PTI)

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