New probable Mers case found

New probable Mers case found

A technician prepares a sample to be tested for Mers after a Thai returned from the Middle East with flu symptoms at the laboratory at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute in Bangkok on Feb 5, 2016. (Bangkok Post file photo)
A technician prepares a sample to be tested for Mers after a Thai returned from the Middle East with flu symptoms at the laboratory at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute in Bangkok on Feb 5, 2016. (Bangkok Post file photo)

A Kuwaiti man has been identified as a probable Mers case in Thailand although testing has not been conclusive, according to the Public Health Ministry.

The 18-year-old man entered the country on Monday with his father and grandmother and all of them are now hospitalised, said Ammuay Gajeena, director general of the Disease Control Department said at a news briefing on Saturday afternoon.

The purpose of their visit was to have the grandmother treated for knee-related complications.

When the man started to show flu symptoms a day later, the private hospital treating his grandmother took a sample of his body fluid to be tested for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) at the facility's laboratory.

The test came positive on Wednesday and the hospital informed the ministry which immediately admitted him to the state-owned Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute.

The man was put in the monitoring phase on Thursday as required by a ministry announcement.

"He was put in a negative-pressure room. Now the fever has come down and there are no other symptoms. Fourteen days later he will be released if he is tested negative," Dr Amnuay explained.

He added his two high-risk relatives were also admitted at the facility as was the taxi driver who drove them.

The doctor stressed although the man was only a probable case, all three of the family must be taken care of by the highest standards.

"The man is in the probable group as we sent samples of his fluids to be tested at four places -- the Medical Sciences Department, Bamrasnaradura, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Ramathibodi Hospital -- but the results have been inconclusive.

"Clinically, this man is a probable case and must receive proper care. He is the second case in 2016 and the third since Thailand started monitoring the disease."

The doctor added authorities had already got the name list of the passengers on the same flight as the Kuwaiti man was. They would be contacted and taken care of by the guidelines.


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