Thailand on Sunday confirmed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV) disease in a traveler, the second such case in the country in the last seven months, as WHO cautioned other member states in its South-East Asia region against the continuing risks and the need to remain vigilant.
"The new case of MERS CoV is a reminder of the continued risk of importation of the disease from countries where it still persists. All countries need to further enhance surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections, focus on early diagnosis, and step up infection prevention and control procedures in health-care facilities to rapidly detect any case of importation and effectively prevent its spread," Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, said.
MERS CoV is caused by a virus. Typical symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is common, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported.
A 71-year -old national from Oman, who arrived in Bangkok, Thailand for treatment on January 22, and was admitted to a private hospital, tested positive for MERS CoV. He has since been transferred to the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute. Measures are being taken to trace all those who could have been in his contact during his journey to Thailand, and within Bangkok.
This is the second MERS CoV case in Thailand.