Second Mers case found in Thailand

Second Mers case found in Thailand

A 71-year-old man from Oman was tested positive for MERS by Thai hospitals. (Photo by Kitja Apichonrojarek)
A 71-year-old man from Oman was tested positive for MERS by Thai hospitals. (Photo by Kitja Apichonrojarek)

The Public Health Ministry on Sunday announced the country's second confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (Mers-CoV).

The patient is a 71-year-old man from Oman who travelled to Thailand on Jan 22 after having been treated at a hospital in that country for about one week for fever and a cough, according to Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn.

The man tested positive for Mers at Bamrungrad and Chulalongkorn hospitals.

The man was referred to Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute on Saturday at 6.20pm and another laboratory test by the Medical Science Department confirmed he had contracted Mers.

Dr Piyasakol said the Omani man is now being quarantined at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute of the Diseases Control Department.

The Public Health Ministry is looking for people who had contact with the patient. They included a relative who accompanied the patient, 218 crew and passengers who are still in Thailand, one taxi driver, a hotel employee, and 30 hospital staff.

These people will be kept under close surveillance for 14 days. Of them, 37 are categorised as high-risk. They are the patient's relative, 23 air passengers, the taxi driver, the hotel employee, and 11 hospital staff.

Those with a high risk will also be quarantied.

Thailand confirmed its first case of Mers on June 18, last year. The patient was a 75-year-old male who travelled from Oman to Thailand. He was  treated and declared free from the virus and was allowed to leave the kingdom. The disease did not spread to others.

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