Thailand's king treated for chest infection: Palace statement

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been treated for a chest infection in Siriraj Hospital, said the palace in a statement on Monday, Sept 7, 2015.
Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been treated for a chest infection in Siriraj Hospital, said the palace in a statement on Monday, Sept 7, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch, has received treatment for a chest infection, the palace said in a statement on Monday (Sept 7).

The 87-year-old monarch has been in Bangkok's Siriraj hospital for more than three months and has also received treatment for water on the brain since being admitted for a check-up in May.

Bhumibol's health is closely watched in Thailand, where he is widely revered and seen by many as a moral arbiter and symbol of continuity in a country that has experienced much upheaval during his 69-year reign.

The king developed a high fever on Sept 3 and his blood pressure fell, the palace said. "X-Ray results on the chest found inflammation in the right lung," the palace said. The king's windpipes were also inflamed, the palace said.

He was administered intravenous antibiotics and his temperature has since subsided and his blood pressure back to normal, the palace said. His breathing is still irregular at times, the palace added.

Bhumibol has spent most of the past six years in hospital. Most Thais have known no other monarch, and nervousness over the succession has played into a decade of political division in Thailand.

The king was last seen in public on Sept 1, when Thais chanted "Long live the king!" as he passed in a wheelchair accompanied by medical staff on his way to visit a shop inside the hospital.