The U.S. Mission Thailand is monitoring the current Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak in the Republic of South Korea and any related incidents in our region. This notice provides current recommendations.
In South Korea, there are no signs of sustained community-acquired infection. Confirmed cases of transmission have been linked to hospitals. As a result, hospitals in South Korea have increased their surveillance and modified their approach to dealing with patients who exhibit symptoms.
The Thai Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) reported on June 18 the first case of MERS in the Kingdom of Thailand. They are monitoring individuals with possible exposure to that confirmed case and any others that may emerge. Travellers can expect increased passenger screening measures at international airports, particularly for flights from Middle Eastern countries.
Please be aware there may be misguided media reports regarding the current MERS risk. A good source of reliable information about this disease is the CDC MERS website from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The World Health Organization also provides advice in English on MERS (WHO MERS Fact Sheet.)
Even though the current risk for exposure in Thailand is extremely low, there are common-sense steps you can take to further minimize risk:
- Frequent hand washing, particularly after touching other people and after going out in public. Carry a pocket-sized hand sanitizer with you.
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with people who are coughing or sneezing.
- Discuss with your family the steps above. Know who is playing with your children and inquire if anyone is sick.
- Stay home is you are sick with any viral illness.
U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Thailand are strongly advised to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in case of an emergency.
The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy is located at 95 Wireless Road in Bangkok, and can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049, or by e-mailing email@example.com. The Embassy’s after-hours emergency telephone number is 66- 2-205-4000.
The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai, located at 387 Wichayanond Road in Chiang Mai, is also open unless otherwise indicated. The American Citizen Services Unit of the Consulate General can be reached by calling 66-53-107- 777 and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-81-881-1878. You can also follow the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok’s American Citizen Services Unit on Twitter for further updates.
Current information on safety and security can also be obtained on travel.state.gov or by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Thailand. Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on facebook as well.