Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Thanit Sermkaew said that the boy had an elevated body temperature and exhibited “likely symptoms” of being infected with some form of influenza or pneumonia.
“His condition was discovered by officers checking at Phuket International Airport,” Chief Thanit told The Phuket News.
“Officers at the airport’s Health Control Division immediately took the boy to hospital by ambulance. He is in isolation and we are monitoring his condition closely.
“We had a blood sample taken that has now been sent to the Health Control Division in Bangkok to test for the virus. We will know the result tonight,” Mr Thanit added.
The boy’s parents and other people known to have been in close proximity to the boy have not been found to be exhibiting any signs of infection, Chief Thanit noted.
“Health Control Division officers at the airport and PPHO medical staff have checked them, and they are not showing any signs of illness,” he said.
“However, we instructed the tour guide for their group and the hotel where these people are staying to report to us immediately if any of them start showing signs of becoming ill, especially this boy’s parents,” Chief Thanit explained.
Although leading medical experts so far have not been able to confirm the incubation period for the Wuhan virus, which has so far killed nine people, Mr Thanit assured that he was not worried about the severe disease being spread by those on the same tour group, free to mingle among the population of Phuket.
“I am not worried about this case. We are are strictly adhering to protocols to watch over the parents and close relatives,” he said.
Regardless, Mr Thanit urged people to remain vigilant and to report themselves immediately if they suspect they have been infected.
“Please call the PPHO Disease Control Division at 076-211330 ext 1330 and 1331 for Thai and English.”
Alternatively, people can call the national Department of Disease Control (DDC) hotline 1422.
“We will keep working with the Health Control Division at Phuket airport and other relevant officials to prevent the virus from spreading to Phuket,” Mr Thanit said.