BANGKOK, 22 July 2015 – The Ministry of Public Health has confirmed lab tests that found the flu patient returning from South Korean negative for MERS-CoV, two weeks after the ministry declared Thailand free of of the virus.
The latest MERS-CoV suspect is a Thai worker traveling from South Korea. A few days after his return, the man exhibited symptoms including high fever, diarrhea, and fatigue and was admitted to hospital. Lab tests showed he came down with a normal flu.
Meanwhile, his friend in Ubon Ratchathani province who reportedly died of similar symptoms was rumored to have MERS-CoV. However, lab tests have ruled out the virus. Public Health Minister Ratchata Ratchatanawin said authorities were tracking down those spreading the rumor.
Reports of the new suspected cases came two weeks after the Ministry of Public Health declared Thailand a MERS-free country. The number of confirmed cases remains at one. Patient zero was an Omani man that fully recovered and returned to his home country.
ASEAN Public Health Ministers will meet early next week in Vietnam to discuss ways to handle the fatal virus. Their counterparts from South Korea and Middle East countries will also be invited to take part in the conference.