Young Kuwaiti man cleared of Mers

Young Kuwaiti man cleared of Mers

An 18-year-old Kuwaiti man suspected of contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was cleared of the virus in the first round of the two mandatory laboratory tests, director of the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute said Sunday.

The man still had to go through another round of tests to officially confirm he was negative for the deadly virus, according to WHO guidelines. Final results for clinical specimens obtained from the patient are expected to be released on Monday, Dr Jariya Saengsajja said.  

The unnamed man arrived in Thailand on Monday with his father and grandmother and fell ill on Tuesday. The Department of Disease Control’s screening measures initially indicated Mers, a highly contagious form of coronavirus. He was sent to the state-owned Bamrasnaradura institute in Nonthaburi on Thursday and has been treated in an isolation room.  

Dr Jariya said the patient mainly had fever. His father and grandmother who also had been placed in quarantine were also negative for Mers. However, they needed to be quarantined for 14 days to observe their symptoms before being released. 

Two known cases of Mers have been confirmed in Thailand with two Omani nationals tested positive for the virus in June last year and in January.

Mers first emerged in humans in 2012 and has been spreading in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring countries since then. It is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

The virus, in which patients develop acute respiratory illness with fever, coughing and breathing problems, has spread to 27 countries and killed up to 40% of those infected.

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