Thai King
Thai King

Thailand’s 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, is suffering from a 38.1 C (100.6 F) fever, fatigue, rapid breathing and occasional high blood pressure, the royal palace announced Tuesday.

The king has lived in a Bangkok hospital for much of the past six years, and Tuesday’s health bulletin described the same general set of symptoms that he has been suffering for about six months.

The king has been a stabilizing figure through much of his reign, but his participation in public affairs has sharply declined in recent years. Worries about the king’s health and succession have contributed to Thailand’s political instability over the past decade. The heir apparent, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, does not command the same respect and affection as his father.

The health bulletin said blood tests showed the king was suffering from an infection whose cause was still being investigated. It said the king was being given antibiotics and oxygen and treatment to remove excess saliva and phlegm, as well as physical therapy.

The king last month made a low-profile trip of several hours to his Bangkok palace, and in December was seen on the nightly royal news on television presiding over a swearing-in ceremony for judges at the hospital where he lives.


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