Illustrative image. (Photo: rappler.com)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s Public Health Ministry announced on January 24 the second confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) detected in a 71-year-old man from Oman.

The patient, who arrived in Thailand on January 22, is now being quarantined at an infectious diseases institute in the central province of Nonthaburi, Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said.

She added that the authority has identified 37 people who had direct contact with him, including medical staff, hotel staff and a taxi driver.

According to the minister, the patient is in stable condition. His relatives are also being quarantined at the institute.

Last June, Thailand confirmed its first MERS case, a man also from Oman who made a full recovery later.

MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by MERS-CoV virus that was first identified in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has spread to 25 countries, including France, Germany, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Tunisia and the UK.

It causes severe acute respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Approximately 36 percent of reported patients with MERS have died. There is currently no vaccine available to protect people from MERS.-VNA