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Cambodia on Alert After MERS Found in Thailand

A couple wears masks as a precaution against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus as they walk in Myeongdong, one of Seoul's main shopping districts, June 15, 2015.

Cambodian health authorities are on high alert, following the first confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, in Thailand, Thursday.

Diagnosis systems have been installed at major border checkpoints and at the airports of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Health officials say people traveling in either the Middle East or South Korea should pay special attention to health symptoms and report any suspicious symptoms immediately.

Cambodia has no confirmed cases of the disease, Ly Sovann, deputy director for epidemiology at the Ministry of Health, told VOA Khmer. But the country has set up a special response team and is actively monitoring, he said.

“We have prepared everything, but it is very important that people who travel in the Middle East and South Korea stay on high alert and be careful,” he said. “They should report to us immediately if they suspect they have the disease.”

Cambodian Muslims visiting Saudi Arabia for the holy month of Ramadan should be especially careful, he said. They should avoid drinking camel’s milk and eating raw food.

MERS has killed a confirmed 24 people in South Korea alone, and has spread to 26 countries since 2012. Thai officials said Thursday that a 75-year-old businessman from Oman was diagnosed with the disease in Bangkok.