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First Thai infected with coronavirus

Passengers queue up for health screening at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province. (Bangkok Post photo)

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The Public Health Ministry on Wednesday confirmed a 73-year-old woman being treated at a hospital in Nakhon Pathom was the first Thai found to be infected with coronavirus.

The woman fell ill after returning from the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. She was being treated in Nakhon Pathom. Health officials confirmed she was infected with the new strain of coronavirus. 

There have now been four reported cases of novel coronavirus infection found in Thailand - three Chinese tourists and one Thai.

The second Chinese tourist found to be infected has since been completely cured and has returned home, the Department of Disease Control announced on Wednesday.

Dr Sophon Iamsirithavorn, the director, said the 74-year-old Chinese woman arrived in Thailand from Wuhan on Jan 13. She was quarantined on arrival with a fever and tests confirmed she was carrying the 2019-nCoV virus.

She was treated at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province.

She had since been declared free of the infection and had returned home to China on Tuesday, Dr Sophon said.

The Public Health Ministry has sought to calm public fears over the new disease, a viral respiratory infection similar to SARS, with assurances that measures are in place to prevent the spread of the virus

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Vocabulary:

fever : an abnormally high body temperature - ไข้

infection : a disease or medical condition that is caused by a bacteria or by a virus or a parasite - การติดเชื้อ

quarantine (verb): to keep a person or animal that might have a disease separate from other people or animals so that they do not catch the disease - กักบริเวณ จำกัดบริเวณ

respiratory : involving breathing - เกี่ยวกับการหายใจ

spread : to (cause to) cover, reach or have an effect on a wider or increasing area or number of people - แพร่กระจาย, แพร่กระจายไปทั่ว

strain : a particular type of virus, animal, insect, or plant  - สายพันธุ์

virus (noun): a living thing, too small to be seen without a microscope, that causes infectious disease in people, animals and plants - เชื้อไวรัส

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