Thailand Confirms First MERS Case
Posted by Dannielle Noonan
The first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) had been confirmed in Thailand.
Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin told a news conference that a 75-year-old businessman from Oman had tested positive for MERs after travelling to Bangkok for medical treatment for a heart condition.
The health minister said 59 others were being monitored for the virus, including three of the man’s relatives who travelled with him to Bangkok.
Thailand is the fourth Asian country to be affected, with previously confirmed cases in South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong.
In Saudi Arabia, more than 1,000 people have been infected with MERS since 2012, and about 454 have died.
The infection spread to South Korea, resulting in 23 deaths so far. A total of 165 people have been infected and 6,700 people are in quarantine. However, daily numbers are decreasing and locals are hopeful that this means the MERS outbreak will be over soon.
In Hong Kong, discoveries of MERS have been confined to healthcare facilities. Three hospitals have been at least partially shut and two have been locked down with patients and medical staff inside.
Thai Airways have taken preventive measures to tackle Middle East Respitory Syndrome, as images of flight staff disinfecting aircraft have flooded the internet.
Travellers are being screened at many Thai entry points. Non-essential travel to these areas is not advised.