Health Ministry on high alert for new Coronavirus


BANGKOK, 24 June 2013 The Ministry of Public Health is on high alert for possible symptoms of the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS) which has killed 38 people worldwide.

Health Minister Dr Pradit Sinthawanarong said 68 people in 9 countries have been confirmed as having contracted the virus since September. The number of the infected is expected to rise as the World Health Organization reported that the virus could be trasmitted from humans, though they are still searching for the source of the outbreak.

No case of MERS infection has been reported in Thailand so far but health professionals are continuing to closely monitor the situation.

Major provinces which are frequented by tourists such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Khon Kaen have been advised to be on the lookout for patients with flu-like symptoms.

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus first emerged in the Arabian peninsula last September and belongs to the same family of viruses as the one responsible for Sars.