The reported threat of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has sparked serious surveillance in Thailand.
Though there are no records of any Thai citizens coming down with the disease, the Public Health Ministry has assigned the Disease Control Department to keep a close eye out for any possible cases of MERS-CoV and ensure it does not spread.
The ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Narong Sahametapat has also advised people to immediately seek medical treatment if they develop fever, cough or sore throat after visiting the Middle East.
According to World Health Organisation, since the emergence of MERS in April 2012, a total of 253 laboratory-confirmed cases of human MERS infections have been confirmed, including 93 deaths.
The cases have been in the Middle East (namely Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates); Europe (France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom); North Africa (Tunisia); and in Asia (Malaysia and the Philippines).
Assoc Prof Dr Arunee Thitithanyanont, a medical specialist, said the mortality rate was between 30 and 50 per cent.