MOPH announced – Second MERS detected in Thailand, a man from Oman

Today – Thailand Ministry of Public Health announced the detection of the second MERS case, an Omani citizen 71 years old. The patient has been in proper medical care and isolation at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute under MOPH. Thirty seven people were classified as “at risk”, all had no symptoms, are unable to spread infection. List of all contacts are known and being under contact tracing with standard protocol. Public are advised to be calm, practice normal daily life and good hygiene. Travelers from MERS affected countries are advised to report any illness such as fever or cough immediately to doctor upon arrival and within 14 days.

Professor Dr Piyasakol Sakolsattayathorn, Health Minister, Professor Dr.Prasert Thongcharoen,  Dr Sopon Mekthon, PS/MOPH, DG of Department of Disease Control, DG of Medical science, DG of Department of Health Service Support  and representative from  Bumrungrad International hospital had announced to the public and media.“After the stringent MERS surveillance and prompt screening and detection, Thailand has now detected the second laboratory confirmed MERS case, in a 71 years old Omani citizen, who arrived on January 22nd 2016”.          
The patient had fever and cough one week and receiving the treatment at local hospital in Oman before departing to seek medical care in Thailand. He was accompanied by one of his relative. The patient was now under proper medical care in an isolation room. Respiratory specimen, collected at Bumrungrad International hospital, private hospital on January 22nd, tested positive for MERS at Chulalongkorn hospital. Subsequent specimens, collected at Bamrassnaradura Institute on January 23rd, also tested positive for MERS. Today, January 24th, the patient has good consciousness, able to eat on his own, weak and remain in difficult breathing. He receives medical care in isolated room with oxygen via nasal route and other medications.    
Ministry of Public Health promptly initiated the investigation of contacts, apply prevention measures and communicate with relevant organization to potentially contact persons such as 1 accompanying relative (High Risk), 239 passengers and crews on the same flight (of which 23 classified as high risk), 1 taxi driver, 1 hotel reception and 11 hospital staffs.
All contacts will be followed up according to standard protocol, and until 14 days period.    High risk contacts will be either in designated hospital isolation or quarantine facility.    “Low Risk” contacts will be advised for home or community restriction, restriction of social contact and avoid publicity. There will be direct monitor from trained health staffs throughout the 14 days period,
Dr. Sopon Mekthon PS/MOPH reiterated that the detection of second MERS case is the result of intact surveillance system, coordination among various agencies, port of entry hospitals and laboratories, as well as the previous experiences have contributed to the rapid detection within 10 hour of the same day and also reduce the unnecessary exposure to the people and medical staffs. Dr, Sopon reassured that all the contacts were known and could be traced to receive proper prevention measures. The patient was under stringent medical care, the virus could not spread, so the public should be safe and no reason to become panic. He encouraged to the public to always practice good hygiene such as “eat hot-well cooked food, use utensil that assign for common plate to prevent cross mixing when eating in group and wash hands regularly”. When traveling to affected country, please avoid direct or close contact to camel and avoid visiting the hospital or persons with illness. Report the country you have visited immediately upon arrival to Thailand and report any illness you may have during the first 14 days to the doctor. Call free hot-line 1422 for more information
  ************************ 25 January 2559

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