Authorities ensuring Hajj returnees at Songkhla airport free from MERS


SONGKHLA, 26 Oct 2013 The Songkhla public health office is monitoring returnees from the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia against the MERS coronavirus. 

Teams of medical personnel have been assembled at Hat Yai Airport in Songkhla to screen Thais returning from the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca and make sure they have not contracted the coronavirus, which has so far killed 62 people in 9 countries, mostly in Saudi Arabia.

According to Dr. Sirichai Liwannanaphasai, head of Songkhla public health office, none of the returning Thais were found with the MERS virus. Most of the returnees experiencing illness were afflicted with fever and mild coughing, which were caused by fatigue from their travels.

Most people who contracted MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness, similar to symptoms of SARS. About half of infected people die.