Situation Report on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome: MERS 29 June 2015

Situation Report on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome: MERS

29 June 2015
1. Latest situation on 29 June 2015
1. One confirmed case found in Thailand
2. 154 contact cases found
3. Update global situation on 26 June 2015; 1,356 confirmed cases and 483 deaths in 26 countries. The update situation in Republic of Korea on 27 June 2015; 182 confirmed cases and 32 deaths.
4. People are requested not to trust rumors from any source. Information must be checked if it is correct before sharing it to prevent incorrect information from spreading causing panic.  Sharing incorrect information is illegal according to Computer Crime Act. Please follow the news from the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH).  For any questions, please contact Department of Diseases Control (DDC) Hotline at 1422 for 24 hours.
2. The Ministry of Public Health urges the surveillance system must be strict and solid.
Dr. Wachira Pengjuntr, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Public Health gave information update on MERS surveillance, prevention and control progress during an interview in war room meeting. The assessment suggests that the situation in Republic of Korea today shows improvement as the number of the patients is decreased and the number of death only increase by one. Though the risk seems to reduce, the cautious and warning measures must be continued. In Thailand, all close contact cases are found and monitored, no new case found. Today, 20 of the high-risk group contact cases have been monitored under disease surveillance for full 14 days. They were thoroughly examined before allowed to go home. There are 16 high-risk contact cases remaining and all of them are in normal condition. The criteria for releasing contact cases from surveillance system are; 1) laboratory test show no infection 2) the contact case is in normal condition and 3) no chance of disease spreading and safe for the public.
MOPH has emphasized the solidity and strictness of the surveillance system and medical treatments in both public and private sanatoriums, daily screening of travelers from affected areas especially Republic of Korea and Middle East, diagnosis and mobile disease investigation in every province in order to assure the people.
Special attention is given to Thai people who are traveling for Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage which were registered at the Department of Religious Affairs around 10,000 people. As of now about 500 – 800 people listed have been coordinated.  MOPH will also prepare a 30 days surveillance system for their return with collaboration of village health volunteers and provincial health offices.
3. Travelers returning from Middle East and Republic of Korea under disease investigation.
From 1 January to 28 June 2015, there were 128 people under disease investigation criteria and most of them travel from reported MERS affected countries.  The number consists of 68 people traveling from Republic of Korea and 60 people traveling from Middle East.  On June 28th, there were 18 people under disease investigation criteria; 4 people from Republic of Korea and 14 people from Middle East.  All of them were sent for laboratory test.
4. Summary of DDC Hotline service: 1422.
In the period of 24 hours on 29 June 2015, 48 calls were made and 9 calls were about MERS.  The most frequently asked questions were; knowledge about the disease, incubation period, practice and how to prevent oneself from being sick. An interesting question is about tips for purchasing appropriate hygiene masks.
5. Actions taken at Disease Control checkpoint at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
- On 28 June 2015, 30,376 travelers entering Thailand have been screened with thermometer scan.  One traveler with fever found. The traveler has no travel history to MERS or Ebola affected area.
- Airlines with direct flights from risk areas are requested collaboration in notifying the passengers of the screening measures at the airport, and distribute health beware cards to passengers.  Airlines are also advised to be strict with plane cleaning.
- Immigration is coordinated for sending any travelers from affected areas to the disease control checkpoints for screening before allow entering the country.
- Four Thermoscan devices are installed.  Alcohol gel has been placed and regularly refilled more than 200 points all over the airport.  Hygiene masks are adequately distributed at the information counters.
6. Recommendations on how to protect oneself from respiratory infections including MERS.
Generally, there is no risk of MERS infection for people in Thailand except those who travel to countries with endemic. The general practices for the people are:
1. Avoid close contact with any respiratory disease patients or those who are with coughing or sneezing symptoms.
2. Follow the principle for good hygiene, consuming well-cooked and warm food, using a separate spoon for sharing food and washing hands often with soap.
3. When having the following symptoms; fever, cough, sneezing, nasal discharge and sore throat, people must avoid close contact with others.  Covering the mouth and nose with tissue paper when coughing or sneezing is encouraged.  Discard used tissue paper in a closed bin and wash hands.  Wearing hygiene mask is required when necessary.  For those who returned from affected areas, if having mentioned symptoms within 14 days after returning, go to see medical doctor or health care personnel in the area and inform them of your travel history.
4. People who has fever or cough but did not travel to the affected areas has no need to be overly concerned.  Go to see the doctor or contact DDC Hotline 1422 for 24 hours. News and updates can be followed on Facebook page, “ไทยสู้เมอร์ส”.
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Health Beware Card For Travelers arriving in Thailand


The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) reveals that 20 high-risk contact cases are allowed to go home as their 14-days surveillance is due.

Today, MOPH reveals that 20 high-risk contact cases including, 14 passengers who boarded the same plane as the Omani confirmed case, 2 taxi drivers and 4 medical personnel consisting of 12 foreigners and 8 Thais have been monitored for 14 days.  Health conditions of these contact casesare well and their laboratory test shows no infection  of  MERS.

Today (29 June 2015), at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute, Prof. Dr. Rajata Rajatanavin, Minister of Public Health with Dr. Surachet Satitniramai, Acting Permanent Secretary of Public Health, Dr. Varabhorn Bhumiswasdi, Deputy Director-General, Department of Disease Control and disease surveillance team observe the process of ending 14 days admission for disease surveillance and home returning of the high-risk contact cases. They commended the medical doctors, nurses and every personnel for their efforts in taking good care of the patient and the contact cases. The airborne infection isolation room is also shown to the media.

Prof. Dr. Rajata Rajatanavin said, as of now, there are a total of 154 contact cases in Thailand, 36 of them are indentified as high-risk contact cases while the rest are low-risk contact cases. The high-risk contact cases consist of the Omani patient’s relatives, passengers sitting two rows both in front of and behind of the patient’s seat, medical personnel and taxi drivers. All of them are monitored under disease surveillance system and they are all well, no infection detected with laboratory test.

In the high-risk group, 20 contact cases including 14 passengers who boarded the same plane as the Omani confirmed case, 2 taxi drivers and 4 medical personnel have been monitored for 14 days on 29 June 2015. Twelve of them were English, Italian and Swiss and 8 were Thai. They were admitted for disease surveillance in Bangkok, Chonburi, Surat Thani, Krabi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Buriram. The remaining 16 high-risk contact cases are still in surveillance system until 14 days is due.

In addition, the high-risk group contact cases that have completed 14 days monitor will be thoroughly examined to ensure that they have no symptom of respiratory disease, e.g. fever, coughing, nasal discharge. Fluid from nasopharynx will be collected and sent for examination to ensure that they are not infected. As for the low-risk contact cases advised to stay isolated at home, they can now continue with their normal life.

The Omani patient is getting better and able to eat. His health conditions including respiratory tract symptoms and heart problems are getting better.Fluid from nasopharynx will be examined to ensure the disease will not spread before moving the patient from airborne infection isolation roomto regular room. Three patient’s relatives are in normal condition and still in surveillance system until 14 days is due.

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German club makes donation to cover unpaid hospital bills in Phuket

PHUKET: Hagen Dirksen, German Honorary Consul in Chiang Mai and member of the Board of the German Help Association, today (July 24) presented a donation of B100,000 to the Vachira Phuket Hospital in gratitude “for their untiring efforts over the years in helping German patients and cooperating with German organisations operating in Thailand”.
German club makes donation to cover unpaid hospital bills in Phuket The money came from the German Help Association of Thailand. “This association, funded by the German business sector and private donors in Thailand, has been helping Germans who get into some kinds of difficulty, in particular, those who have health problems and accidents,” Mr Dirksen explained. 

“We work very closely with the Germany Embassy, and can act quickly when help is needed. We know that this hospital [Vachira] has been assisting German patients for many years and there have been German patients who were unable to pay, so the hospital has many unpaid bills.” Read more »


DIY Emergency Toilet in Flood Crisis

A toilet is a necessary convenience for human beings, even in the flood crisis. When toilet is unavailable, people should discharge into plastic bags and spread calcium hydroxide or liquid chlorine 2% into the bag and wrap it tightly. If you cannot get calcium hydroxide and liquid chlorine 2%, just wrap it tightly.

Developmental health clinic

1996 ; Psychiatric Clinic and Child Psychiatric Clinic were in the same clinic.
1998 ; Child psychiatric Clinic was separated from Adult service.
2004 ; Child Psychiatric Patients were evaluated and received treatment form
Child Psychiatnist. Read more »


Phuket: Lean, firm and sexy: weight training for women

In fact, woman that work out with weights often have firmer and more toned muscles than their counterparts in group classes.

Mind you, I have seen the fairer sex participating in group classes with a tremendous endurance that would make my knees wobble and lungs gasp for fresh air.

If you see how well-toned female gymnasts, sprinters, tennis players, swimmers and triathletes are from constant, hard, intense training, that often includes working out with weights, it’s no wonder that they are in such great shape. Read more »


The empowerment of Tha Sala community is advocated to enable citizens to reform Thailand.

This community chooses to fight against transnational petroleum industry and coal-fired power plants with wisdom and use community health impact assessment as its tool.


In a meeting of partners for the empowerment of Tha Sala community, Prof Dr Prawase Wasi, chairman of the National Reform Assembly Committee, said the issue of Tha Sala district in Nakhon Si Thammarat province is important and good. When a community is strong, everything will automatically be better. In fact, community leaders do not oppose industries but they want to discuss impacts on the community in order to create positive relations and the mutual benefits of the macro-economy and the economy of the community. This will bring about empowerment and good results. Read more »

An academic conference on solutions to alcohol

Dr Thaksaphon Thamarangsi, director of the Center for Alcohol Studies (CAS), said the  Center for Alcohol Studies (CAS) under the International Health Policy Program of the Thai Ministry of Public Health, has been funded by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation to organize the 7th National Academic Conference on Alcohol on the theme of “Ownership in Alcohol Policy” at Centra Government Complex Hotel & Convention Center on Feb 14 and 15. A large number of Thai and foreign experts, academics and campaigners attended the conference to exchange new information and academic knowledge and review lessons from the imposition of the Alcohol Control Act B.E. 2551 and experiences from anti-alcohol campaigns in various forms. The conference was aimed at improving operations to encourage concerned parties to participate and implement alcohol-related policies and prompting provincial alcohol control committees to take serious actions. Read more »


An independent organization for consumers is about to be founded, isn’t it?

Ruj Komolbut of the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at Thammasat University asks if anyone has ever been in the following situations.

The expressway toll rises from 55 to 85 baht and state enterprises raise energy fees but we are unable to do anything or to verify an excuse for of the rises.

We can do nothing but to buy a set-top box when free broadcasts are withdrawn.

A newly bought brand-new car requires endless repair and no governmental organizations come to the rescue.

If a bus has an accident, passengers must sue by themselves because the government does not require fully comprehensive insurance for passenger buses and some buses are even illegal. Read more »