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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:33 am 
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MERS Confirmed In Thailand ex-Oman 75M

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:34 am 
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| Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:37pm IST Related: HEALTH
Thailand confirms first MERS case: health ministry
BANGKOK
Image
Crew members of Thai Airways prepare to disinfect the cabin of an aircraft of the national carrier at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand, June 18, 2015.

REUTERS/CHAIWAT SUBPRASOM
Thailand confirmed its first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Thursday, becoming the fourth Asian country to register the deadly virus this year.

Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin told a news conference that a 75-year-old businessman from Oman had tested positive for MERS.

"From two lab tests we can confirm that the MERS virus was found," Rajata said, adding the man had traveled to Bangkok for medical treatment for a heart condition.

"The first day he came he was checked for the virus. The patient ... contracted the MERS virus."

The health minister said 59 others were being monitored for the virus, including three of the man's relatives who traveled with him to Bangkok.

MERS is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as the one that triggered China's deadly 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

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.

Last month, a MERS outbreak erupted in South Korea resulting in 23 deaths so far. A total of 165 people have been infected and 6,700 people are in quarantine.

But there have been signs that the outbreak, the largest outside of Saudi Arabia, may be slowing in South Korea. The daily number of new cases has dropped to single digits this week compared to as many as 23 last week. Three were reported on Thursday - the lowest number since June 1.

All of the infections known to have occurred in South Korea have taken place in healthcare facilities. Three hospitals have been at least partially shut and two have been locked down with patients and medical staff inside.

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

Earlier, Thailand's Disease Control Department said it was screening travelers at 67 points of entry.

"We are checking 67 ports including land, sea and air," said Sophon Mekthon, secretary-general of Thailand's Disease Control Department.

"We've told all hospitals in Thailand to be on alert. Those who come back from the Middle East and South Korea must be checked thoroughly."

(Reporting by Pracha Hariraksapitak and Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/06/1 ... N+/+Health)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:41 am 
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REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, THAILAND - Mers virus outbreak is on the rise in South Korea. Now, the virus has also been detected in Thailand reported for the first time.

A businessman from Oman reported infected with the virus Mers. Currently the 75-year-old man was undergoing a period of quarantine after tests proved positive were infected in Thailand

Thailand's Health Ministry confirmed the truth of the case and mentioned that it was first detected in the country.

"Of the two lab tests we can ensure that the Mers virus is found," said Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin as reported by Reuters on Thursday (18/6).

The man known to go to Thailand to undergo heart treatment. He is traveling with three members of his family who are currently being quarantined for health checked as well.

Health officials are also trying to monitor others previously associated with it. Starting from a nearby passenger on the plane and the taxi driver the host to make sure they are not infected.

Respiratory syndrome outbreak originating from the Middle East has also suffered more than 160 South Koreans. The virus is reported to have killed 23 people in the country.

http://internasional.republika.co.id/be ... um=twitter

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:53 am 
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Thailand Confirms MERS Infection
Health ministry says 75-year-old man arrived from Oman on Monday

By WARANGKANA CHOMCHUEN and NOPPARAT CHAICHALEARMMONGKOL
June 18, 2015 8:42 a.m. ET

BANGKOK—Thailand on Thursday announced its first case of Middle East respiratory syndrome after discovering the deadly virus in a man visiting from Oman.

The Thai Public Health Ministry said in a news briefing Thursday that the 75-year-old man, who arrived from the Middle East on Monday, was diagnosed with the virus after going to a local hospital to seek treatment for his heart conditions and asthma.

Oman is on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula and adjacent to Saudi Arabia, where the virus was first discovered in 2012.

It is believed to be the first infection in Southeast Asia so far this year, following a death in Malaysia and an infection in the Philippines in 2014. South Korea is reeling from an outbreak that has killed 23 people and infected 165 others since it was first reported five weeks ago.

Dr. Rajata Rajatanavin, Thailand’s health minister, said the man is in stable condition. Dr. Rajata said the man is being quarantined along with three family members who arrived with him at the hospital. Two taxi drivers and dozens of medical staff and personnel the man came in contact with have also been quarantined, the minister added.

Passengers seated two rows in front and behind the unnamed man have been contacted by health officials, Dr. Rajata said.

The ministry didn’t disclose what airline the man flew in on.

MERS belongs to the same family of viruses as the common cold and Severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and kills more than one-third of the people it infects, largely through respiratory infections. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. No vaccine exists.

Thailand’s acting permanent public health secretary, Dr. Surachet Sathitiniramai, said Tuesday that airport staff are watching for potential sufferers exhibiting symptoms in addition to those who traveled from the Middle East. Anyone suspected of infection will be placed under observation in hospitals or clinics, he said.

The country’s Diseases Control Department will also prepare an advisory for the more than 10,000 Thai Muslims who are expected to make the hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia this year, Dr. Surachet added.

In South Korea, where the outbreak is the largest outside Saudi Arabia, more than 6,700 people have been in quarantine at various hospitals or isolated at home, including hundreds of staff from Samsung Medical Center in Seoul.

—Wilawan Watcharasakwet contributed to this article.



Write to Warangkana Chomchuen at warangkana.chomchuen@wsj.com and Nopparat Chaichalearmmongkol at nopparat.chaichalearmmongkol@wsj.com

http://www.wsj.com/articles/thailand-co ... 1434631339

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:00 am 
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Thailand reports first confirmed case of deadly MERS virus
By THANYARAT DOKSONE, Associated Press
Updated 6:43 am, Thursday, June 18, 2015
Image
Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin talks to reporters during press conference in Bangkok, Thailand Thursday, June 18, 2015. Thailand says it has confirmed its first known case of the deadly MERS virus, a man who arrived from a Middle Eastern country for treatment of a heart condition. Photo: Sakchai Lalit, AP / AP

Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin talks to reporters during press conference in Bangkok, Thailand Thursday, June 18, 2015. Thailand says it has confirmed its first known case of the deadly MERS virus, a man who arrived from a Middle Eastern country for treatment of a heart condition. Thai officer takes a flyer after Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin's press conference in Bangkok, Thailand Thursday, June 18, 2015. Thailand says it has confirmed its first known case of the deadly MERS virus, a man who arrived from a Middle Eastern country for treatment of a heart condition.

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand confirmed on Thursday its first known case of the deadly MERS virus, a 75-year-old man who recently arrived from Oman for treatment of a heart condition.

Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin said two laboratories had confirmed the results.

The man has been quarantined at the ministry's infectious diseases facility and is in stable condition, he said.

He said the patient was traveling with three other family members, who also are being watched at the facility. Public health officials are also monitoring others who were in contact with the man, including nearby passengers on the airplane.

Rajata said the man didn't have any symptoms while traveling to Bangkok, but began to have fatigue and difficulty breathing after he was admitted to a private hospital for treatment of his heart condition.

Many people from the Middle East come to Thailand for medical care.

"We advise the public not to panic because the patient and his family members were separated since the beginning," Rajata said. "Our system is ready and we are monitoring the cases closely."

Thanarak Phalipat, director of the Bureau of Epidemiology, said 59 people who were in contact with the patient have been identified so far by the ministry, including health personnel, hotel employees, passengers who sat two rows in front and behind the patient on the plane, and two taxi drivers.

Middle East respiratory syndrome has killed 23 people and sickened more than 160 in the past month in South Korea, in the biggest outbreak outside the region where it was first seen in 2012. More than 6,700 people are isolated at home or in medical facilities there, according to South Korea's Health Ministry.

World Health Organization head Margaret Chan on Thursday praised South Korea's efforts to contain the virus.

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/medical/a ... 334813.php

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:29 pm 
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Thailand Confirms Middle East Tourist Tests Positive for MERS
by Supunnabul Suwannakij
Chris Blake
June 18, 2015 — 7:27 AM EDT Updated on June 18, 2015 — 8:05 AM EDT

Thailand’s health ministry confirmed that a Middle Eastern tourist seeking treatment at a Bangkok hospital has tested positive for Middle East respiratory syndrome, the nation’s first case of the virus.
The 75-year-old man traveled to Thailand for treatment of heart disease at an unnamed private hospital on June 15, Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin told reporters Thursday in Nonthaburi province outside Bangkok. The hospital has been co-ordinating with the Health Ministry after the man showed suspicious symptoms, including coughing, Rajata said.
The man was then transferred to Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, a hospital under the Ministry of Health, and kept in a private room, Rajata said. He was traveling with three people who have also been isolated in private rooms at the same hospital. Rajata said a further 59 people are being monitored at home, including travelers who sat near the man on the same flight, hotel workers and hospital staff.
An outbreak of the virus, thought to have been transmitted to humans by camels, has sickened 162 people and killed 20 in South Korea in the past month, prompting the government to shut schools, airlines to cut flights and consumers to avoid shopping malls and restaurants. The World Health Organization has said that the outbreak isn’t a global health emergency because the virus hasn’t developed the ability to spread easily between people.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/ ... e-for-mers

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:10 pm 
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Published Date: 2015-06-18 12:29:31
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> MERS-CoV (70) - Thailand ex Oman, 1st report, RFI
Archive Number: 20150618.3447631
MERS-COV (70) - THAILAND ex OMAN, FIRST REPORT, REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
***********************************************************************
A ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
http://www.isid.org

In this post:
[1] Thailand ex Middle Eastern country - Natl News Bureau of Thailand
[2] Thailand ex Middle Eastern country - The Nation
[3] Thailand ex Middle Eastern country - Bangkok Post
[4] Thailand ex Oman - Strait Times

******
[1] Thailand ex Middle Eastern country - Natl News Bureau of Thailand
Date: 18 Jun 2015
Source: National News Bureau of Thailand [edited]
http://thainews.prd.go.th/CenterWeb/New ... 6180010075


The Ministry of Public Health has announced that Thailand's 1st case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has been confirmed, adding that 59 other people close to the patient have been put under close monitoring.

At a press conference, Minister of Public Health Dr Rajata Rajatanavin disclosed that the patient found with the 1st case of MERS infection in Thailand is a Middle Eastern man, aged 75, who traveled to Thailand from a Middle Eastern country on [15 Jun 2015]. The patient reportedly did not have any fever but only experienced a cough after arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport. He later sought medical attention for his heart problem at a private hospital before being suspected of MERS.

The patient has been transferred to Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, where he is now receiving treatment in a separate quarantine unit. His condition is currently stable. According to the Public Health Minister, samples collected from the patient were subjected to repeat testing and all the results were positive for MERS.

A total of 59 people who are related to the man or have come into contact with him have been reached by the Public Health Ministry. Among the individuals are 3 family members who have also been invited to receive close attention at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute. The others, comprising passengers and crew members on board the same aircraft, medical staff and taxi drivers, will be contacted by authorities on a daily basis and asked about their condition.

The Public Health Minister also encouraged the public to remain calm, as the infected and all suspected persons are being kept in seclusion and the situation is still under control. He suggested everyone to strictly adhere to sanitary practices during this period and refrain from traveling to the Middle East and South Korea, where MERS outbreaks are taking place.

[Byline: Surapan Laotharanarit]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

******
[2] Thailand ex Middle Eastern country - The Nation
Date: 18 Jun 2015
Source: The Nation [edited]
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/nationa ... 62627.html


The Public health Ministry Thursday [18 Jun 2015] confirmed the 1st MERS case in Thailand after laboratory test determined that a foreign visitor had contracted the deadly virus, according to Dr Prasert Thongcharoen, the ministry's senior adviser.

Prasert, who is also chairman of Thailand's expert panel on virulogy and epidemics, said the patient is understood to have contracted Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in a foreign country.

The unnamed patient then visited Thailand and was diagnosed. The patient is reportedly 75 years old and has had contacts with 59 persons since becoming infected.

Earlier, there were rumours of MERS cases in Roi-Et and other places in Thailand, but health authorities dismissed them as groundless.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry has stepped up its surveillance of suspected MERS cases and held a teleconference with all provincial health authorities nationwide yesterday to beef up measures in response to the possible spread of MERS.

So far, the authorities have focussed on people who were potentially exposed to the disease, especially those who have recently been in at-risk countries such as South Korea and Middle Eastern nations.

Dr Opas Karnkavinpong, deputy director-general of the Disease Control Department, said the surveillance system had been strictly enforced and all potential victims had undergone laboratory tests and those results would be known within 1 day.

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

******
[3] Thaland ex Middle Eastern country - Bangkok Post
Date: 18 Jun 2015
Source: Bangkok Post [edited]
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general ... mers-virus


Thailand has confirmed its 1st known case of the deadly MERS virus, after a man who arrived from a Middle Eastern country was treated for a heart condition.

Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin said on Thursday [18 Jun 2015] that 2 laboratories had confirmed the results.

He said the 75-year-old man has been quarantined at Bamrasbaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province.

Mr Rajata said the patient was travelling with 3 family members who are being monitored at the facility.

The Public Health Ministry said 59 others are being monitored. They were in contact with the man, including nearby passengers on the airplane and a taxi driver.

People from the Middle East frequently come to Thailand for medical treatment.

An outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome has killed 23 people and sickened more than 160 in South Korea. Around the world, related deaths have been put at 458.

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

******
[4] Thailand ex Oman - Straight Times
Date: 18 Jun 2015
Source: Strait Times [edited]
http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/s ... y-20150618


Thailand confirms 1st MERS case: Health ministry
-------------
Thailand confirmed its 1st case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Thursday [18 Jun 2015], becoming the 4th Asian country to register the deadly virus this year [2015].

Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin told a news conference that a 75-year-old businessman from Oman had tested positive for [MERS-CoV].

"From 2 lab tests we can confirm that the MERS virus was found," Dr Rajata said, adding the man had travelled to Bangkok for medical treatment for a heart condition. "The 1st day he came he was checked for the virus. The patient ... contracted the MERS virus."

The health minister said 59 others were being monitored for the virus, including 3 of the man's relatives who travelled with him to Bangkok.

MERS is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as the one that triggered China's deadly 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The vast majority of MERS infections and deaths have been in Saudi Arabia, where more than 1000 people have been infected since 2012, and about 454 have died.

Last month, a MERS outbreak erupted in South Korea resulting in 23 deaths so far. A total of 165 people have been infected and 6700 people are in quarantine.

But there have been signs that the outbreak, the largest outside of Saudi Arabia, may be slowing in South Korea. The daily number of new cases has dropped to single digits this week compared to as many as 23 last week. 3 were reported on Thursday [18 Jun 2015] - the lowest number since [1 Jun 2015].

All of the infections known to have occurred in South Korea have taken place in healthcare facilities. 3 hospitals have been at least partially shut and 2 have been locked down with patients and medical staff inside.

China and the Philippines have also reported 1 MERS case in 2015.

Earlier, Thailand's Disease Control Department said it was screening travellers at 67 points of entry.

"We are checking 67 ports including land, sea and air," said Dr Sophon Mekthon, secretary-general of Thailand's Disease Control Department. "We've told all hospitals in Thailand to be on alert. Those who come back from the Middle East and South Korea must be checked thoroughly."

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

[ProMED-mail would like to thank Mary Ann Benitez <mary.benitez@singtaonewscorp.com> for submitting a similar media report on this 1st case reported from Thailand.

This series of reports is presented in reverse chronologic order of appearance on the internet, i.e., [1] is the most recent and [4] is the earliest. One can see how the information dissemination is unfolding in this "story". Of interest is that the earliest report [4] mentions the country of origin of the case, whereas the official government report does not mention the country of origin -- just "a Middle Eastern country".

Another media report mentioned that the 1st test performed on this individual was negative, but the follow-up test was positive. It is curious that media reports on the outbreak of MERS-CoV currently ongoing in Korea frequently state that early tests on individuals have been negative. One wonders at what stage of infection the testing becomes positive -- does it correlate more closely with clinical expression of disease, or with the number of days following exposure, irrespective of clinical disease? Presumably patients are not highly infectious if evidence of the virus is not present in respiratory tract specimens.

According to the official Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) press release, the individual was afebrile but had a cough, and was tested for possible MERS-CoV infection based on the history of cough. An early symptom of infection, and in this case, a "good catch" vis a vis early confirmation of diagnosis with resultant early isolation, infection control measures, and monitoring of known contacts. More information on this case would be greatly appreciated, especially history of possible known high-risk exposures in the 14 days preceding either onset of clinical illness or positive test.

Working on the premise from the early media reports that Oman was the country of origin of this case, as of 12 Jun 2015 there had been 6 cases of MERS-CoV infection including 3 deaths reported by Oman (for the global update on MERS-CoV produced by ECDC weekly, see http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/P ... e-2015.pdf. Given the studies demonstrating high prevalence of antibodies against MERS-CoV in Omani camels in the past, it is curious that there have been so few cases of MERS-CoV infection confirmed in Omani individuals.

Revisiting the most recent reported case from Oman, I was struck by the following description in the WHO report on the case: "A 75-year-old male from Al Dahir village developed symptoms on 11 May [2015] and was admitted to hospital on 19 May [2015]. He was treated symptomatically and discharged on 20 May [2015]. As symptoms worsened, on 25 May [2015], the patient was admitted to the same hospital. He tested positive for MERS-CoV on 29 May [2015]." (see MERS-CoV (56): South Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Oman, WHO 20150605.3413986 and 31 May 2015 MERS-CoV (52): Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, WHO, RFI 20150531.3399248 for the initial MOH report and the WHO report). In the above description it mentions onset of illness on 11 May 2015 and confirmation on 25 May 2015, with hospitalization 19-20 May 2015. The question that comes to mind now is: Was the 1st hospitalization for early MERS-CoV symptoms that were lab negative for the virus? -- or perhaps lab testing for the virus wasn't done because the presentation was mild -- or did the man have another respiratory illness for which he was hospitalized, and was exposed to the MERS-CoV while in the hospital (exposed to an undiagnosed case)? Food for thought here...

The critical question now is whether there will be secondary cases of MERS-CoV in Thailand related to exposure to this case or if it will be a single "sporadic" case. We might expect to have cases among the 3 family members who traveled with him and were presumably close contacts. The next 2 weeks will determine.

The Bamrasbaradura Infectious Diseases Hospital is located in central Nonthaburi province. (http://www.aa.com.tr/en/health/540081-- ... n-thailand). Nonthaburi province is near Bangkok, to the northwest (see http://www.weather-forecast.com/locations/Nonthaburi for map showing location). The Ministry of Public Health is located in Nonthaburi province.

The HealthMap/ProMED map of Thailand can be found at: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/151
and the HealthMap/ProMED map of Oman can be found at: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/124. - Mod.MPP]
See Also
MERS-CoV (56): South Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Oman, WHO 20150605.3413986
MERS-CoV (52): Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, WHO, RFI 20150531.3399248
MERS-CoV (14): Saudi Arabia, Oman, WHO 20150124.3114951
MERS-CoV (08): Oman, Saudi Arabia, WHO 20150117.3097488
MERS-CoV (06): Oman, new case, RFI 20150111.3085228
MERS-CoV (04): Oman, Saudi Arabia, RFI 20150108.3079584
2014
----
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (69): Oman, camel, comment 20140525.2497847
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (66): Oman (SH), camel conf, OIE 20140523.2493556
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (41): Oman, animal reservoir, camel 20140426.2432011
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (20): Oman, WHO, RFI 20140326.2359173
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (03): Oman, WHO 20140109.2162284
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (01): Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, WHO 20140103.2150717
2013
----
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (84): Saudi Arabia, Oman, deaths, WHO, RFI 20131112.2049026
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (81): Saudi Arabia, UAE ex Oman, RFI 20131108.2044846
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (78): Saudi Arabia, Oman, WHO, RFI 20131101.2032982
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (77): Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, WHO 20131030.2027026
.................................................mpp/pg/jw

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:43 am 
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Health | Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:18am EDT Related: WORLD, HEALTH, THAILAND
Top Thai hospital treats first MERS case, South Korea outbreak levels off
BANGKOK | BY AMY SAWITTA LEFEVRE

One of Thailand's leading hospitals, known for treating medical tourists, said on Friday it had received the country's first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), as authorities said it had taken nearly four days to confirm the illness.

Thailand said on Thursday a 75-year-old businessman from Oman, who had traveled to Bangkok for medical treatment for a heart condition, had tested positive for MERS.

The announcement came just as an outbreak in South Korea that began last month and has infected 166 people, killing 24 of them, appeared to be leveling off.

The high-end Bumrungrad Hospital, run by Thailand's second-largest hospital operator, identified the first MERS case. The hospital in central Bangkok treats over a million patients a year, about half of them foreigners.

"The patient came to us tired, coughing ... there was no fever," a doctor from the private hospital told a televised news conference. "So we X-rayed his chest ... we found that he could have two things, a heart condition or the MERS virus."

Tourism accounts for 10 percent of the Thai economy and medical tourists make up more than 10 percent of visitors, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. About a third of those medical tourists come from the Middle East.

The hospital said 58 staff had been quarantined, but all other operations were continuing as normal.

The infected man was moved to Bangkok's Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute on Thursday. Staff there were seen wearing and giving out masks to visitors, according to a Reuters reporter at the scene. Health warnings were posted in front of the building's entrance.

Two South Korean hospitals were locked down and another completely shut due to MERS, while the prestigious Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, where most infections occurred, stopped taking new patients during the outbreak.

The Thai case will compound fears in Asia of a repeat of a 2002-2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which began in China and killed about 800 people globally.

MERS was first identified in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and the majority of cases have been in the Middle East.

Isolated cases have cropped up in Asia before South Korea's outbreak began last month, and Thailand is the fourth Asian country to register a case.

China has had one case recently, that of a South Korean man who traveled to China via Hong Kong despite authorities suggesting he stay in voluntary quarantine at home. The Philippines has also identified a case this year.

The infected man arrived in the Thai capital on Monday on an Oman Air flight for medical treatment for a heart ailment at a private hospital.

"It took about four days to diagnose this case and two lab tests," Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin told Reuters, adding all 106 people on board the man's flight had been located.

Among those being monitored were the man's two sons, who were considered at high risk because of their proximity to their father. The two had been tested and results were due later on Friday, Rajata said.

Most of those under observation had been told to stay at home for 14 days.

South Korea's outbreak, the largest outside Saudi Arabia, had been traced to a 68-year-old man who returned from a business trip to the Middle East in early May.

RELATED COVERAGE
› Thai airline shares, hoteliers fall on first MERS case, aviation safety downgrade
It spread through hospitals with all of its infections known to have occurred in healthcare facilities.

The outbreak in South Korea appeared to have peaked, with just one new case reported on Friday and the number of people in quarantine down 12 percent to 5,930, though authorities were taking no chances.

"Given the current developments, we have judged that it has leveled off, but we need to watch further spread, further cases from so-called intensive control hospitals," the South Korean health ministry's chief policy official, Kwan Deok-cheol, told a briefing in Seoul.

In Thailand, authorities were screening passengers from countries seen at risk of MERS and stepping up public information about the virus, another health official said.

The Middle East is an important source of tourists for Thailand with arrivals from the region up by nearly 50 percent in January, according to the tourism office.

Bangkok is also one of the region's main aviation hubs.

The vast majority of MERS infections have been in Saudi Arabia, where more than 1,000 people have been infected since 2012, and about 454 have died. There is no cure.

Shares in Thai aviation companies and hotels fell on Friday with hotel operator Central Plaza Hotel plunging 6.6 percent. Airports operator Airports of Thailand dropped 4.2 percent to a more than three-week low. Bumrungrad Hospital shares were down over 6 percent.

(Additional reporting by Pracha Hariraksapitak and Jutarat Skulpichetrat, Ju-min Park and Tony Munroe in SEOUL; Editing by Robert Birsel and Jeremy Laurence)


Image
A worker wearing a mask walks outside the isolation ward where a 75-year-old businessman from Oman is being treated for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province, on the outskirts of Bangkok,...
REUTERS/CHAIWAT SUBPRASOM

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/ ... 9M20150619

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:04 am 
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Update on latest MERS situation in Korea and Thailand
*****************************************************
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (June 19) closely monitoring two additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported by Korea and Thailand.

According to the preliminary information of the health authority of Korea, one case is a visitor who took care of an in-patient in Samsung Medical Center from May 25 to June 5.

To date, 165 MERS cases have been confirmed by Korea. In addition, another case was exported from Korea to Mainland China.

Meanwhile, the health authority of Thailand has announced its first confirmed MERS case. The male patient developed chest pain on June 10. He had sought medical treatment in Oman and subsequently travelled to Bangkok, Thailand, by airplane (flight number: WY0815) to seek medical care for his heart condition. The patient did not report to have fever and was not detected to have fever when he arrived at the Bangkok airport on June 15. He was admitted to a hospital in Thailand on June 15 and was isolated since admission. He was confirmed to have MERS coronavirus infection yesterday (June 18).

The health authority in Thailand is conducting contact tracing for 59 contacts of the patient. The 31 passengers on the same flight who were seated within two rows of the patient are still in Thailand at the moment and under quarantine. None of them went to Hong Kong. The CHP has been liaising with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the health authority of Thailand to monitor the situation closely.

"We again urge the public to pay special attention to safety during travel, taking due consideration of health risks of the places of visit," a spokesman for the CHP said.

"In view of the latest situation in Korea, the public should avoid unnecessary travel to Korea, in particular those with chronic illnesses. Travellers in Korea and the Middle East should avoid unnecessary visits to health-care facilities. In addition, travellers to the Middle East should avoid going to farms, barns or markets with camels, and avoid contact with sick persons and animals, especially camels, birds or poultry," the spokesman advised.

The CHP will maintain close communication with the WHO and the relevant health authorities. Members of the public and the health-care sector should heighten vigilance and stay alert to the latest situation.
Ends/Friday, June 19, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:44

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:12 am 
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First Mers patient condition 'stable' 20 Jun 2015 at 13:36 648
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