Korean woman 'caught' virus in Thailand

Korean woman 'caught' virus in Thailand

Air travellers being screened for a fever at Suvarnabhumi airport. Health authorities are seeking further details of a South Korean woman found infected with the coronavirus after arriving home from a visit to Thailand. (Photo suppled)
Air travellers being screened for a fever at Suvarnabhumi airport. Health authorities are seeking further details of a South Korean woman found infected with the coronavirus after arriving home from a visit to Thailand. (Photo suppled)

Health authorities have asked Seoul for information about a Korean woman found infected with the novel coronavirus after visiting Thailand and with no record of travel to China.

Dr Tanarak Plipat, deputy director-general of the Disease Control Department, said on Tuesday they were  informed of the case in South Korea and were seeking details of her test results, condition and where she went in Thailand.

With this information they could find other people who might have been in contact with her, and check them for the virus.

"The country is in the stage of disease transmission. Tourists, naturally, are in places full of foreign tourists and thus are likely to be in areas of disease transmission," Dr Tanarak said.

A 42-year-old South Korean woman tested positive to the virus after arriving home from Thailand on Jan 19. She became ill on Jan 25. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) have placed her in quarantine. She was the 16th person found with the virus in South Korea.

Dr Tanarak sought to allay concerns, saying that transmission in Thailand was limited. Health authorities were actively identifying and treating patients.

"The case of the Korean woman does not change the degree of risk concerning the disease in Thailand. Chances of contraction remain low in this country," he said.

"Now we are trying our best to find as many of those infected as possible and people in contact with them," he said. Quick response was preventing transmission growing to a severe level, Dr Tanarak said.

The Public Health Ministry reported on Tuesday morning that the number of infected people found in Thailand remained at 19. Eight of them had been cured and discharged, and 11 remained at hospitals.

Dr Tanarak said the hospitalised patients were feeling much better and healthy, but officials extended their stay because the disease could remain in their bodies for a relatively long period.

To prevent transmission they would not be discharged until they were proven to be free of the virus, he said.


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