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Thailand confirms second MERS case

Authorities are seeking more than 250 people who may come into contact with an infected man from Oman. The WHO said that the virus has killed more than 500 people since it was discovered Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Thai health authorities on Sunday confirmed its second case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus after the kingdom recorded its first in June 2015.

The virus was detected in a 71-year-old man from Oman who travelled to Bangkok seeking medical treatment after Omani doctors were unable to treat his condition.

"After taking a taxi to a hotel, he was checked for the virus at a hospital and the MERS virus was found," said Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn at a press briefing on Sunday.

"This case was found quickly, so the public should not panic," the minister added.

Sakolsatayadorn added that authorities were searching for more than 250 people who may have come into contact with the man.

At least 37 people at "high risk" of contracting the virus were being monitored by health authorities, including the man's son who was traveling with him.

In June, a 75-year-old Omani man was confirmed to be infected with the virus. He survived after being treated at a Thai hospital.

The World Health Organization said in January that it received notification of more than 1,600 MERS cases, including 586 related deaths.

South Korea was hit by an outbreak of the virus in 2015, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40 people.

The virus was first discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012, and is a cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that killed hundreds of people across Asia in 2003.

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Zika travel alert expanded | DW News

ls/ (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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