Thai royal palace says king recovering from lung infection

AP News
|
Posted: Sep 07, 2015 11:35 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's 87-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej is recovering from a high fever and chills but is still being treated for the bacterial infection that caused it, the royal palace says Monday. It was the second announcement in less than a month that the king was suffering from health problems.

The announcement by the royal household, broadcast on the nightly royal television news program, said doctors have been treating the infection with antibiotics and saline solution, and giving the king an oxygen-air mix when needed to help his breathing. He also had low blood pressure and a high pulse rate, which it said returned to normal on Monday.

The world's longest reigning monarch last appeared in public on Sept. 1, during a short tour by wheelchair of the Bangkok hospital that has been his home for most of the past six years.

Recent palace statements about the king's health usually reveal his condition in terms of improvements from problems not previously announced, an evident effort to reassure the public. Last month, the palace said he was recovering from several ailments, including excess fluid in the brain and difficulty breathing due to congested lungs.

Most Thais hold great affection for Bhumibol, who was crowned on May 5, 1950, after coming to the throne in 1946 following the death of his elder brother. But his general absence from public affairs in recent years has spurred concern about the eventual royal succession.

While he is a constitutional monarch with no formal political role, Bhumibol has generally been regarded as the country's unifying figure. The heir apparent, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, does not yet command the same respect and affection as the king.

Bhumibol was originally admitted to Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital in 2009 with what was said to be a lung inflammation, but has had other health problems as well, including having his gallbladder removed last year. In 2007, the king was hospitalized for three weeks with symptoms of a minor stroke.