Thailand says condition of first MERS patient improving.

June 30, 2015 Officials from Thailand’s Health Ministry on June 22 announced that the health condition of Thailand‘s first Middle East Respiratory Syndrome patient, a 75-year old man from Oman who entered the country seven days ago, has been improving.

The unidentified man whom laboratory tests confirmed had MERS, was a patient at the Bumrungrad Hospital, before he was later moved to an infectious disease institute. Bumrungrad Hospital has since quarantined 58 of their staff, placing them under observation. Vachira Pengchan, deputy permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry had this to say:

“In the past seven days, the patient’s (75-year old man from Oman) health condition has been improving day by day. This is a positive sign that will be used to evaluate the risk (in Thailand),”

As of now, the country only has one confirmed MERS case, while the three other relatives of the 75-year old man are in normal condition with no signs of MERS infections, according to a statement by the ministry.

Vachira referenced the MERS outbreak in South Korea saying:

“(The risk) in Thailand is considered not too low or too high in comparison to South Korea. Right now, the risk assessment of not too low or too high has been reduced. At the same time, the situation in South Korea has improved. The lower risk in Korea means lower risk for us too,”

He is also positive that Thailand‘s major medical tourism sector will not take a hit.

“You have to be able to balance two aspects (of medical tourism), which are to lower the risk of some of the severely contagious diseases that threaten our country, our people, and at the same time maintain the medical treatment open to all. These need to be balanced out,”

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