UN urges safety in light of confirmed MERS case in Thailand

The second case of MERS in seven months has been confirmed in Thailand.

A case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) has been confirmed in Bangkok, Thailand.

The United Nations (UN) health agency is urging travelers to, and citizens of, Southeast Asia to keep safe and stay vigilant. This is the second MERS case in seven months to be discovered in Thailand.

The case involves a 71-year-old Omani, who arrived in Bangkok on Jan. 22 to get treatment at a private hospital. The patient has since been transferred to Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute. Medical officials are working to trace the disease back to its origins. They are also working diligently to increase preparedness and respond quickly to reported cases.

In June of 2015, another traveler from Oman tested positive for MERS in Bangkok.

“The new case of MERS CoV is a reminder of the continued risk of importation of the disease from countries where it still persists,” Poonam Singh, director of the World Health Organization's Southeast Asia region, said. “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.”

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