Pattaya briefs community leaders on MERS preparedness

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Pattaya health officials met with community leaders to advise them on precautions being taken against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and to urge them to report quickly any suspected cases.

Kanrapa Mukdasanith, director of disease control for the Pattaya Public Health Office, Councilman Rattanachai Sutidechanai and staffers from Pattaya Hospital met June 19 with leaders of the city’s 42 neighborhoods.

Pattaya health officials and community leaders meet to discuss precautions being taken against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.Pattaya health officials and community leaders meet to discuss precautions being taken against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

Dr. Leabmeung Pudpong, the hospital’s medical chief, briefed the group on the one case of MERS reported in Thailand involving a 75-year-old Omani tourist who was isolated and treated.

Rattanachai said city hall is closely monitoring events in Thailand and other countries and noting the fatality rate for the latest outbreak in South Korea – where 180 people were infected and 29 killed as of June 25 – was lower than during other incidents in the Mideast.

He said Pattaya is educating health networks and communities how to detect a possible MERS case and that any suspected case should be reported to the 1669 hotline.

The city also has coordinated with hotels and local businesses, as well as the Korean Business Operator Association to monitor visitors from South Korea or the Middle East.

In the case of a possible infection, immigration officials will work to monitor anyone who came in contact with the affected person.

MERS, a byproduct of the Coronavirus family that also causes the common cold and SARS in humans, had until the South Korea outbreak, shown little ability to spread beyond the Arabian Peninsula.

The vast majority of the South Korean infections are centered in one hospital where the initial patient was treated.