Baku-APA. Thailand on Thursday said a 75-year-old man from Oman was confirmed to have MERS in Southeast Asia's first case of the virus since an outbreak in South Korea that has killed 23 people, APA reports quoting AFP.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has spread at an alarmingly rapid pace in South Korea since the first case was diagnosed on May 20, infecting 165 in what is the largest outbreak outside Saudi Arabia.
Thailand, a booming medical tourism hub popular with Middle Eastern patients, announced its first positive MERS case Thursday after around 20 people earlier tested negative for the virus.
"(The man) is from a Middle Eastern country. The (test) results confirmed that he has Middle East Respiratory Syndrome," said Rajata Rajatanavin, Thailand's Public Health Minister, adding the patient had arrived in the kingdom with his family three days ago.
A Thai government spokesman later told reporters the man was from Oman and had travelled to a central Bangkok hospital for treatment for a heart problem.
After being tested for MERS he was moved to Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province on the outskirts of the Thai capital on Thursday morning.
Authorities are looking for people who were on the same flight as well as anyone else who came in contact with the man during his time in Bangkok.
"We are confident that we can control the outbreak," said spokesman Major General Sunsern Kaewkamnerd in a statement, adding that "disease control" measures were in place, including monitoring the health of his three family members.
Earlier Thursday World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan expressed guarded optimism over South Korea's ability to contain a MERS outbreak after the WHO previously described the spread of the disease as a "wake-up call".