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More MERS in Thailand

BANGKOK: The second confirmed case of a patient with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has been detected in Thailand, announced Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn.

Piyasakol said the second MERS patient is a 71-year-old Omani man who entered Thailand on Friday with a fever, which doctors in his home country could not treat.

The minister said the patient “tested positive for the MERS virus”, and is now being quarantined at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute of the Diseases Control Department.

“He is tired, but conscious”, Dr Piyasakol said yesterday, adding that the man’s condition is stable and that he has been put on a respiratory machine.

The Disease Control Department is looking for more than 250 people who may have come into contact with the man.

Of those, 37 were at “high risk” of contracting the virus, the ministry said, without giving further details.

The 37 persons include 13 Thais, who are medical staffs, hotel staffs and a taxi driver.

They will have to be monitored for possible infection for at least 14 days.

Piyasakol said the Omani man’s children are now being quarantined at the diseases institute.

The first confirmed MERS case in Thailand was also of an elderly Omani man, who was admitted to hospital in June last year, but discharged weeks later after he was treated, declared virus-free and was allowed to leave the kingdom.

The disease did not spread to others. — The Nation / Asia News Network/thestar

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