Thailand on watch for pneumonia outbreak; screens travelers from Wuhan, China

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BANGKOK – While China is currently controlling an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, Thailand is closely looking out for it and screening travelers arriving from that Chinese city.

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Wuhan’s public health office announced on its website that the pneumonia outbreak is being contained after 44 patients were identified. Of that total, 11 were reportedly in a coma with high fevers, and exhibiting breathing difficulties associated with lung infections. It remains to be seen what type of virus may have caused the disease.

In Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, authorities have been monitoring any possible outbreak of pneumonia, and strictly screening travelers from Wuhan at airports and other arrival points.

In Thailand, Disease Control Department Director General DrSuwannachaiWattanayingcharoenchai, said today that international quarantine checkpoints throughout the country have initially been instructed to be on watch for a pneumonia outbreak and strictly screen travelers from Wuhan at Suvarnabhumi airport, Don Mueang airport, Chiang Mai airport and Phuket airport.

Though the World Health Organization has not as yet issued a warning to those who may be traveling to Wuhan, they are strongly urging passengers to follow advice by avoiding crowded or polluted places or sharing personal utensils with others and always keeping themselves warm. Those who may have returned from such risky areas, especially children and elderly persons, and who have developed fevers, sore throats and runny noses, are recommended to see doctors or public health officials immediately, otherwise those signs of illness might possibly be complicated with pneumonia.