South Korea’s MERS deaths reach 23 – KABB

A nurse and a woman wear masks to prevent contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at a medical center in Nonthaburi, on the outskirts of Bangkok.

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Thai Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin said on Thursday that a man who came from Oman for treatment for a heart condition had been diagnosed with MERS.

In all, 59 people are under observation for any of the symptoms that might become present after they had come into contact with the man, who now is in quarantine at a clinic that specializes in infectious diseases. He said three other members of his family have also been put under isolation at the Institute. Further investigation on the patient, however, is being held off due to his condition, the authorities said.

In South Korea, people suspected of contracting Mers had to undergo health checks at several hospitals to find out whether they were infected or not.

Bangkok: Thailand says a 75-year-old man from Oman has been confirmed to have MERS in south-east Asia’s first case of the virus since a devastating outbreak in South Korea.

“The lack of awareness among health workers and inadequate infection control and hospital control measures were criticized”, Ms. Fukada said.

Margaret Chan told reporters in Seoul that it is a good sign the disease has so far been confined to a handful of hospitals and is not spreading in the wider community.

The number of new infections had fallen steadily until Tuesday, when the government said it was cautiously optimistic the worst was over, but eight new cases reported Wednesday dashed those hopes.

MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, is a viral respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus, which health professionals think passes from person-to-person in close contact situations, such as in the case of a medical professional caring for a patient. All of the people to die in the outbreak had existing ailments or were elderly.

While the WHO has not suggested any related travel restrictions, China’s Sichuan province has become the latest authority to urge its population to avoid going to South Korea unless necessary.

South Korea has the second-largest number of MERS patients after Saudi Arabia where the vast majority of cases have occurred.

Experts within South Korea have also criticized President Park Geun-Hye’s government for its response to the outbreak.

That country earlier this week reported 1,031 cases and 456 deaths since the virus emerged there for the first time in 2012.

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Businessman from Oman is first MERS case in Thailand