BANGKOK, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Five Muslim villagers who have returned to southern Thailand from Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia have been suspected of having been infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), said a public health official on Thursday.
According to Dr. Suvit Thammapalo, head of the Ministry of Public Health's provincial health office in Hat Yai, about 950 km south of Bangkok, the five Hajj pilgrims, who had returned from Saudi Arabia and undergone an initial medical check-up at Hat Yai international airport, have been suspected for MERS.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how the MERS might influence those Muslim villagers within a 14-day period, Dr. Suvit said.
The suspected MERS patients were among a total of 289 pilgrims who had undergone medical check-up at Hat Yai airport after they had returned from the Middle East.
MERS patients may obviously have coughs, high fevers and difficulties with breathing, he said.