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Symptomatic Contacts of MERS Index Case In Thailand
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Author:  niman [ Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:29 am ]
Post subject:  Symptomatic Contacts of MERS Index Case In Thailand

Symptomatic Contacts of MERS Index Case In Thailand

Author:  niman [ Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Symptomatic Contacts of MERS Index Case In Thailand

Omani MERS patient's relatives tested for virus in Thailand
A woman wearing a mask walks past an information banner on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at the entrance of Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province, on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, June 19, 2015.

Photo: Reuters

BANGKOK - Thai authorities Friday said two relatives of an Omani man found to have MERS were being tested for the deadly virus in the kingdom.

Thailand, a booming medical tourism hub popular with Middle Eastern patients, Thursday confirmed the Omani, 75, had MERS, days after he arrived at a Bangkok hospital for treatment for a heart condition.

On Friday the Omani patient was "getting a bit better", said Thailand's Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin at a press conference on the outskirts of Bangkok.

But two of his male family members, among three relatives with whom he travelled to Thailand on Monday, were being tested for MERS after one was found to have a cough and the other a fever.

"We have taken their samples for laboratory testing," Rajata told reporters, adding the results should be available Friday evening.

The relatives are in quarantine at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province outside the Thai capital where the Omani patient is also being treated.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has spread at a rapid pace in South Korea since the first case was diagnosed on May 20, infecting 166 people in what is the largest outbreak outside Saudi Arabia.

The MERS case was the first recorded in Thailand and also the first in Southeast Asia since the South Korean outbreak.
Faces of MERS virus
Photo Source: Reuters

Thai authorities are monitoring a further 85 people who have been in contact with the Omani, including those on board his flight to Bangkok, at hospital or in their homes, a health ministry spokesman told AFP Friday.

Authorities are also still trying to locate one of the 21 "high risk" people identified on that flight - a person from the northeastern Thai province of Buriram.

In a bid to contain the deadly virus Thai officials have installed thermoscans at airports to detect passengers with fever and are also handing out information pamphlets about MERS in Thai, Arabic and English.

Rajata also said that Thailand has informed airlines about the transit passengers and crew who are no longer in the country but deemed at risk after sharing the flight with the Omani man.

Earlier government spokesman Sunsern Kaewkumnerd told AFP authorities were confident that Thailand's measures to contain the virus were "under control".

According to World Health Organization data MERS cases have been reported in four Asian countries before Thailand since the virus first surfaced in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Malaysia and the Philippines reported cases before the South Korean outbreak in May, while China reported a person with MERS who had travelled to the country after recent exposure in South Korea, according to a WHO statement.

- See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/omani ... CrycR.dpuf

Author:  niman [ Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Symptomatic Contacts of MERS Index Case In Thailand

Hunt for Buri Ram man who sat near Mers patient

Health officials are looking for a man from Buri Ram who sat near the Omani man now confirmed as having Thailand's first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) on a flight to Bangkok.

Published: 19/06/2015 at 03:33 PM
Writer: Online Reporters
The 75-year-old Omani has tested positive for the deadly virus.

Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin said there were a total of 106 passengers and crew on the same flight as the Omani man. Their risk of infection ranged from high to low.

The ministry is focussing on passengers who sat in the same row, and the two rows in front and behind the infected man.

One of them is a native of Buri Ram. Health officials know his name, but have not been able to contact him.

The health ministry initially announced 59 people were in quarantine, but today it revised the number of people who had been in contact with the infected man to 161. Of these 68 were classed as being at high risk, including the three cousins of the Omani who accompanied him to Thailand.

Of the 68 in the high-risk group, 21 were passengers in the two rows in front and behind the infected man -- his three cousins, a Buri Ram man, two foreigners who had left Thailand, and 15 foreigners still in Thailand.

The other 47 were health personnel at a Bangkok private hospital where the infected man went for treatment about his heart problem.

There are 93 people deemed at medium to low risk - another 85 passengers on the same flight, of which 18 of them, including 12 cabin crew, have left Thailand. Two taxi drivers, one already accounted for, and six hotel staffs.

Dr Rajata said currently the infected man's son had a low fever and his younger brother had a cough. Samples of sinus tissue and throat fluid had been taken from both of them and had been sent for laboratory testing.

The two men were now in quarantine and being closely monitored. It was unlikely the virus would spread out of the ministry's Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institution in Nonthaburi's Muang district.

The infected man was being kept in isolation. His condition was stable but he could not breathe unassisted.

Dr Rajata said the ministry was also still looking for a taxi driver, though he might be a low risk case as the length of his exposure to the Omani man was short -- a ride from the hotel to a private hospital.

Mers is a respiratory virus that health officials say is spread through sneezes, coughs, and droplets of saliva and mucus.


Author:  niman [ Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Symptomatic Contacts of MERS Index Case In Thailand

Family Members of 1st MERS Patient in Thailand Undergoing Tests

June 19, 2015 12:34 PM Last updated on: June 19, 2015 1:42 PM
Steve Herman
A woman wearing a mask walks past an information banner on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at the entrance of Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, June 19, 2015.

Two more foreigners, relatives of Thailand’s first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, considered “high risk contacts,” are being tested for MERS, public health officials said Friday evening.

The 75-year-old businessman from Oman had traveled Monday to Thailand with family members on an Oman Air flight for treatment of a heart condition.

Specimens collected from the patient’s son and nephew have been sent to a laboratory and results are expected to be known in 48 hours, Dr. Pasikorn Akrasewi of the department of disease control told VOA on Friday evening.

The man’s son, who has been caring for his father, is showing “minimal symptoms,” while the nephew has been sneezing, said Pasikorn.

All of the man’s family members have been isolated at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, on the northern outskirts of Bangkok.

Family members

The concerned son has been difficult to keep apart from his father, who is reported in stable condition, a situation complicated because no hospital staff can speak Arabic to adequately explain to the family members the critical need to keep them separated while test results are awaited, Pasakorn said.

Bumrungrad International Hospital has confirmed that the elderly man was admitted the same day he arrived in Thailand to the highly regarded facility, which treats more than 1 million patients a year, 20 percent of them from the Middle East.

Thailand is a medical tourism hub, with foreigners flocking here to undergo such procedures as cosmetic surgery, gender reassignment and heart operations that are frequently more affordable and safer than in their home countries.

Bumrungrad officials on Friday said 58 staff members have been placed in quarantine for two weeks, but the hospital is continuing to operate normally.

A total of 85 people who were in contact with the Omani, including those on board his flight to Bangkok, are being monitored at hospitals or in their homes for any sign of illness, Thai authorities said.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who heads the kingdom’s military junta, declared Friday that Thailand was well prepared to handle the situation, based on past experiences.

“Please don’t panic. We are taking care of this,” Prayuth told reporters. “We have to help each other and please be careful.”

Of similar virus as SARS

MERS is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as the one that triggered China's fatal outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) 12 years ago.

The vast majority of MERS infections and deaths have been in Saudi Arabia, where more than 1,000 people have been infected since 2012, and about 454 have died.

South Korea has been hardest hit in Asia, with 24 deaths, a total of 166 infections and about 6,700 people quarantined since the first confirmed case on May 20.

Health officials in Seoul Friday declared that the worst is over there for the MERS outbreak after the virus spread through hospitals.

“We have judged that it has leveled off,” said Kwon Deok-cheol, the South Korean chief policy official of the health ministry. “But we need to watch for a further spread and further cases from so-called intensive control hospitals.”

South Korea President Park Geun-hye told World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan Friday in Seoul that her government plans to cooperate with foreign experts in fundamentally drawing up a quarantine system to better cope with new types of contagious diseases, the Yonhap news agency reported.

China and the Philippines also have reported one MERS case this year.

An outbreak in Thailand could have a significant impact on the economy of the southeast Asian country, which is more heavily dependent on tourism than South Korea.

Eighteen million people are forecast to visit Thailand this year. Tourism-related stocks suffered a sharp drop in Friday’s trading, with the benchmark SET index closing down more than one percent.

Rebuke of air standards

The sector was hit not only by fears about MERS but also by the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rare rebuke Thursday of the kingdom’s aviation standards.

The ICAO had given Thailand 90 days to address safety concerns before it issued a public “red flag” on its safety audit website, a designation given to only 12 other countries.

Prayuth Friday downplayed its significance – noting that “at this time no country has banned our flights.”

The junta boss requested the Thai media and the public not “speak too much about this, there may be discord.”

Tourism, a major industry in Thailand, has been suffering since late 2013 when sometimes violent political protests broke out on the streets of the capital.

A May 2014 bloodless coup by Prayuth, at the time the country’s army chief, put an end to all political activity but an extended period of martial law also gave pause to some potential visitors.

Martial law was lifted more than two months ago, but the junta retains control of all branches of government and maintains sweeping powers against any dissent.

http://m.voanews.com/a/family-members-o ... 29349.html

Author:  niman [ Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Symptomatic Contacts of MERS Index Case In Thailand

First Mers patient condition 'stable' 20 Jun 2015 at 13:36 648
People start wearing masks after the first case of Mers was reported in Thailand. (Photo by Krit...

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http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general ... tion-table

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