Thailand reports second MERS case as virus detected in Omani man

admin   •   January 25, 2016   •   2146

A woman wearing a mask walks past an information banner on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at the entrance of Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province, on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, June 19, 2015. REUTERS/CHAIWAT SUBPRASOM

A woman wearing a mask walks past an information banner on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at the entrance of Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province, on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, June 19, 2015.
REUTERS/CHAIWAT SUBPRASOM

Thailand has confirmed its second case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus on Sunday, the country’s health minister said.

The virus was detected in a 71-year-old Omani man traveling to Bangkok on Friday, Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn told a news conference.

“After taking a taxi to a hotel, he was checked for the virus at a hospital and the MERS virus was found,” he said.

“This case was found quickly, so the public should not panic,” he added.

The health minister said 37 others were being monitored for the virus, including the man’s son who traveled with him.

Thailand’s first MERS case was detected last year in a businessman from Oman who survived the disease.

MERS is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as the one that triggered China’s deadly 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

MERS was first identified in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and the majority of cases have been in the Middle East.

(Reporting Manunphattr Dhanananphorn; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Trial drug for 2019 nCoV now ready to be administered to over 700 patients

Maris Federez   •   February 7, 2020

China’s health authorities have announced that registration for clinical trials on a potential antiviral drug for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been approved.

The antiviral drug called “Remdesivir” will be made available to the more than 700 patients that tested positive of the 2019 nCoV in Wuhan City, China for its clinical trial.

Authorities said that aside from the 2019 nCoV, the drug can also be used to fight Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and even Ebola infection.

Remdesivir was developed by the American pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences.

China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Health Commission, and the National Medical Products Administration support the approval of the said drug. —(details from Grace Casin) /mbmf

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Asymptomatic transmission of 2019-nCoV, other coronaviruses, unusual occurrence — WHO

Maris Federez   •   February 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The possibility of asymptomatic transmission of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is rather slim.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that during previous outbreaks due to other coronaviruses such as Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), human to human transmission occurred through droplets, contacts, and fomites, suggesting that the transmission mode of the 2019-nCoV can be similar.

This is WHO’s response to a report that a businessman in Germany contracted the virus from a Chinese national from China who had not even shown any symptoms of the disease.

After several days, three of the German businessman’s colleagues had also been reportedly tested positive of the virus.

Meanwhile, based on the protocol being implemented by the Department of Health (DOH), an individual who is not showing any symptoms of the 2019-nCoV even if he has gone to a place where the case of the virus is high does not necessarily have to undergo quarantine.

“Although we are encouraging them to still be conscious sa kanilang kalusugan. Pero sila po ay na-clear na at base sa kanilang laboratory ay negative sila sa nCoV”,  said Dr. Ferchito Avelino, DOH Epidemiology Bureau Director.

Moreover, even those patients under investigation (PUI) or who had shown symptoms but yielded negative after being tested twice will be discharged and allowed to go home.

“Hanggat hindi nasatisfy yang two negative tests results saka na natin siya pwedeng paalisin”, said DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III. — (from the report of Dante Amento) /mbmf

South Korean man infected by MERS virus, first case in 3 years

UNTV News   •   September 10, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Passengers wearing masks to prevent contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) walk past a thermal imaging camera at Incheon International Airport in South Korea. Photo: Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) – A South Korean man, 61, was diagnosed with the potentially deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and is being treated at a hospital in Seoul, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Saturday.

The patient returned to Seoul on Friday after a business trip to Kuwait from August 16 to Sept. 6, according to the KCDC.

This is the first time since July 2015 that an outbreak of MERS has been reported in South Korea.

“As far as found by now, 20 people including flight attendants and medical staff have been in close contact with the patient and they are under isolation at home,” KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong told a press briefing.

The patient, who was suffering from diarrhea, headed directly to Samsung Medical Center from the airport, Jeong said. He is now in an isolation ward at Seoul National University Hospital.

The KCDC director said all flights from Middle East countries have been put into quarantine. “The KCDC and local governments will do our best to prevent spread of the MERS,” Jeong noted.

The infectious disease swept South Korea in 2015 leading to 38 fatalities. MERS is thought to be carried by camels and most of the known human-to-human transmission has occurred in healthcare settings.

Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Catherine Evans

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