Thailand announces first SE Asia MERS case

THAILAND says a 75-year-old man from Oman has been confirmed to have MERS in South-East Asia's first case of the virus since a deadly outbreak in South Korea.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has spread at an alarmingly fast rate in South Korea since the first case was diagnosed on May 20, killing 24 and infecting 166 in what is the largest outbreak outside Saudi Arabia.

Thailand announced its first positive MERS case on Thursday after about 20 people earlier tested negative for the virus.

"(The man) is from a Middle Eastern country. The (test) results confirmed that he has Middle East Respiratory Syndrome," said Rajata Rajatanavin, Thailand's Public Health Minister, adding the patient had arrived in the kingdom with his family three days ago.

A Thai government spokesman later told reporters the man was from Oman and had travelled to a central Bangkok hospital for treatment