Thailand has reported its second confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, detected in a 71-year-old man from Oman who arrived in Bangkok on Friday, The Associated Press reported on Sunday (24 Jan 2016).
Thailand’s Public Health Ministry announced on Sunday that the man is in stable condition at an infectious disease center in Bangkok’s outskirts. His children are also being quarantined. The authorities have identified 252 people the patient came into contact with, and are seeking 37 they consider at high risk for surveillance.
The World Health Organization said in early January that it had been notified of 1,626 confirmed MERS cases, including at least 586 related deaths, since the disease was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
Thailand’s first MERS case was a 75-year-old Omani man who was hospitalized last June and released several weeks later after recovering. In both cases, the men had first fallen ill in Oman and came to Thailand to seek diagnosis and medical treatment.
According to WHO, typical symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is common, but not always present.
Although most cases are attributed to human-to-human infections, the UN agency says the virus does not seem to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact, such as when providing unprotected care to a patient.