A machine to scan body temperature at a private hospital in Bangkok. (Source: Reuters)

A Thai woman suspected of having contracted Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus has been hospitalised after returning from her pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The 59-year-old woman who lives in Muang district, the southern Thai province of Yala, was admitted to hospital on October 6 with the flu-like symptoms of high fever, cough and breathing difficulties, provincial health authorities said on October 7.

She returned home on October 2.

This year, about 10,400 Thais registered to Mecca and are expected to return to the country by the end of this month.

Most of the MERS cases have sourced from Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia. MERS Coronavirus belongs to the family of corona viruses which also includes SARS which haunted Asia in 2003. It has a much higher fatality rate than SARS and there is no cure or vaccine.

Thailand confirmed its first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on June 18. A 75-year-old entrepreneur from Oman, who was tested positive for MERS, was successfully treated in Bangkok.-VNA