Thai nurse on duty wears a protective mask against Mers (Source: thenational.ae)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand's second Middle East Respiratory Syndrome patient (MERS) remains stable, according to a local health official on January 26.

Amnuay Gajeena, director-general of the Department of Disease Control said the patient still had a mild fever and cough, but he could eat and walk.

The 71-year-old man from Oman arrived in Thailand for health check-ups on January 22. He was confirmed positive with MERS.

According to Thailand’s Public Health Ministry, at least 40 people who had direct contact with him were considered at high risk of infection, including his relative, the passengers aboard the same flight with him, medical staff, hotel staff and taxi drivers.

Thirty-three of those have been placed under quarantine. So far, they haven’t been found to be infected by MERS.

Last July, 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.

As of 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported 1,150 MERS patients, at least 427 of them had died.

The MERS outbreak hit the Republic of Korea in 2015, infecting 186 people, killing over 30 of them and placing more than 170,000 others under quarantine.

The RoK remains the country with the most MERS-infected cases outside the Middle East.-VNA