Thailand reports second MERS case as virus detected in Omani man

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

BANGKOK (Reuters) - 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)