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Thailand reported the first Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) case on 18 June 2015 (day 4) in an Omani patient with heart condition who was diagnosed with pneumonia on hospital admission on 15 June 2015 (day 1). Two false negative RT-PCR on upper respiratory tract samples on days 2 and 3 led to a 48-hour diagnosis delay and a decision to transfer the patient out of the negative pressure unit (NPU). Subsequent examination of sputum later on day 3 confirmed MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. The patient was immediately moved back into the NPU and then transferred to Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute. Over 170 contacts were traced; 48 were quarantined and 122 self-monitored for symptoms. High-risk close contacts exhibiting no symptoms, and whose laboratory testing on the 12th day after exposure was negative, were released on the 14th day. The Omani Ministry of Health (MOH) was immediately notified using the International Health Regulation (IHR) mechanism. Outbreak investigation was conducted in Oman, and was both published on the World Health Organization (WHO) intranet and shared with Thailand’s IHR focal point. The key to successful infection control, with no secondary transmission, were the collaborative efforts among hospitals, laboratories and MOHs of both countries.


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