Thailand deeply concerned over rising number of Mers cases worldwide


BANGKOK, 5 May 2014  – Health officials in Thailand are concerned by new alarming statistics indicating that 424 cases of MERS-CoV have been reported globally, including 131 deaths.

Disease Control Department chief Dr Sophon Mekthon said that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) released new information on its global count of MERS-CoV cases reported in April. All cases have either occurred in the Middle East or have direct links to a primary case infected in the Middle East.

Cases have been reported in gulf states as well as in the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

Dr Sophon said the World Health Organization has urged all member countries to remain on high alert over a possible Mers outbreak. No travel advisories have been issued so far, though.

In Thailand, a system has been put in place to quarantine the sick and to monitor any signs of an outbreak. Those at risk include pneumonia patients who recently traveled to the Middle East and patients with existing respiratory conditions.

An Indonesian national recently died in Bangkok by symptoms similar to those of Mers. No Mers virus has been detected but health professionals who have come in contact with the patient have been put under surveillance as a precautionary measure.