A 71-year-old Omani man arrived in Thailand on Friday, January 22, 2016, with a fever which doctors in Oman could not treat, reported the health ministry. Later it was revealed that the man tested positive for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus and was quarantined in a Bangkok hospital.
Thai health officials are now trying to trace more than 250 people who may have come into contact with this man, reported the Health Ministry. "Of those, 37 were at 'high risk' of contracting the virus," said the ministry, without giving further details.
‘Thai health officials are trying to trace more than 250 people who may have come into contact with an elderly Omani man who tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.’
It is the second recorded case of the MERS virus in a kingdom which is visited by millions of people each year and is a hub for medical tourism. The first case was also of an elderly Omani man, who was admitted to hospital in June 2015 but discharged weeks later after he was treated and declared virus-free.
The MERS virus is considered a deadlier but less infectious cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed hundreds of people when it appeared in Asia in 2003. The MERS virus first appeared in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. South Korea was hit hard by an outbreak in 2015 which killed 36 people and caused panic across Asia's fourth-largest economy.