Omani tourist confirmed with Mers in Thailand

Omani tourist confirmed with Mers in Thailand
A 75-year-old Omani visitor to Thailand is said to have been the latest Mers victim, while South Korea says it has a recent outbreak contained.
2 min read
19 June, 2015
Korea and Thailand have both experienced recent outbreaks of Mers [AFP]

Thailand has become the 26th country to report a case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) after a visiting 75-year-old Omani tourist was found to have the disease.

Thai authorities said that his relatives are also being treated amid fears the disease could spread.

Thailand is a popular destination for visitors from the Gulf region, and a growing hub for medical tourism.

The Omani patient is said to be doing well, but his two male relatives who accompanied him on the trip showed possible signs of Mers and are in quarantine.

Eighty-five people who were in contact with the Omani man, including those on his flight to Bangkok, were also said to be under observation.

Abu Dhabi also reported on Thursday that a man had died of the virus in the emirate.

South Korea reported its 24th death from Mers this week, although it says that the outbreak is subsiding after only one case was reported.

The disease is believed to have entered the country by a Korean man who had visited the Middle East.

Mers is a virus related to the common cold and Sars, and is transmitted between animals and thought to be spread between people who come under close contact.

Patients can experience fever, cough, sometimes pneumonia and diarrhoea, and can cause respiratory failure, organ failure and septic shock.

Old people are most susceptiable to the virus, and over 450 people have died from the disease. There are no vaccinations or specific treatment to treat the Mers.

Saudi Arabia was the first country to report the disease in 2012, and since then it has spread across the Middle East.

It believed to be carried by the dromedary camel, although there are thought to be other animals carrying a similar strain such as cows, sheep, and goats.

The World Health Organisation has warned visitors to the Middle East to practice general hygiene measures when visiting markets and farms.