Thai who contracted MERS recovering well: Doctors

Thai who contracted MERS recovering well: Doctors
Photo: Reuters

The only confirmed MERS patient in Thailand is recovering satisfactorily at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, doctors say.

His condition is improving and he's now able to breathe and eat soft food," the institute's director Chariya Sangsajja said yesterday in reference to a 75-year-old Oman national who was brought to the institute after tests confirmed that he had MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Oman, Iran and Kuwait have each reported up to 20 suspected MERS cases.

Thailand is listed in the category where no more than five MERS cases are reported, which also includes the United States, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Malaysia, the Philippines and China.

The situation is worse in Qatar, where 21 cases have been detected, while South Korea has been hit hard with at least 180 cases and 29 deaths. The hardest hit though is Saudi Arabia, where more than 500 MERS cases have been reported.

WHO said the disease has already claimed up to 475 lives.

Dr Sopon Mekthon, director general of the Disease Control Department, said yesterday that the authorities were keeping a close eye on people who had been in contact with the Omani patient.

"We have managed to track down most of them. Those under our surveillance have not shown any MERS-related symptoms," he said.

Officials have also been monitoring passengers travelling from MERS-affected countries such as South Korea and nations in the Middle East, he said. "We have checked those with symptoms such as fever and cough," he said.

Dr Sopon said 95 passengers had undergone tests, which showed they were free of MERS.

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