Thailand confirms first MERS case

Thailand registers its first case of MERS, signaling further spread of deadly respiratory disease in Asia

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Thailand reported its first case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Thursday. Thai Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin made the announcement.

It is the fourth Asian country to confirm the presence of MERS this year, with a 75-year-old businessman from Oman testing positive for the deadly virus. China and the Philippines have also reported one MERS case each.

The man had come to Thailand for medical treatment for a heart condition, but tested positive for MERS in two different lab tests.

"The first day he came he was checked for the virus. The patient ... contracted the MERS virus," Rajata said, adding at least 59 other people are being monitored.

Thailand's Disease Control Department announced that travellers are being screened at 67 points of entry and hospitals have been told to be on alert.

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and is similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which killed hundreds in a 2003 outbreak in China.

In Saudi Arabia more than 1,000 people have been infected with the virus since 2012, and about 454 have died. The virus resurfaced last month in South Korea, killing 23 people and infecting 165.

TRTWorld and agencies