Just for the record: Thailand has now confirmed its first Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) case.
It’s a 75-year-old man from Oman who contracted MERS before arriving in Thailand, where he was diagnosed with the deadly virus.
The patient was reportedly traveling with three family members who are also being monitored, and had contact with “up to 59 people” since arriving in Thailand on Monday. They include passengers on an airplane and a taxi driver.
The 75-year-old has been quarantined since Thursday and is said to be in a stable condition. He was reportedly also “undergoing treatment for heart-related symptoms at a private hospital in Bangkok.”
Update – A few more details have now emerged about Thailand’s first MERS case.
The Omani national apparently arrived in Thailand on Monday as a medical tourist and checked in at Bangkok’s reputable Bumrungrad Hospital Monday night.
According to the Bangkok Post, the hospital asserted that the Omani man had been “isolated immediately on arrival and there were no signs of any staff or other patients having been infected by him.” A total of 58 hospital staff have, however, been placed under quarantine after some degree of contact with the patient.
In a press conference Friday afternoon, the vice chairman of Bumrungrad Hospital said that
the Omani man arrived at the hospital as a walk-in patient about 9.45pm on Monday with symptoms of weakness, a cough and breathlessness. Admission screening staff had immediately isolated him from other patients.
The hospital suspected he might have caught Mers, so he was asked to wear a medical mask and isolated in a negative pressure room to avoid spreading the virus.
After the infected patient’s temperature rose to 38 degrees Celsius, he was transferred from Bumrungrad Hospital to the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute on Thursday.
Bumrungrad is Southeast Asia’s largest private hospital and one of the world’s most popular medical tourism destinations. About 20% of the reputable hospital’s patients are reportedly from Middle Eastern countries.