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Thailand's King Treated for Severe Blood Infection

FILE - Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, shown in June 2012.
FILE - Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, shown in June 2012.

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88, has received treatment for a severe blood infection, the palace said Friday.

In a statement providing an update on the health of the world's longest-reigning monarch, the palace said the king's condition had gradually improved after he received "continuous renal replacement therapy," which substitutes for the regular blood-filtering function of the kidneys.

The palace said there was water in the king's lungs and his kidney function was reduced. It said the king had rapid breathing and sticky phlegm Wednesday, and that an examination showed a severe blood infection.

The king's low blood pressure and fever have since improved, according to the palace.

King Bhumibol has been treated for various ailments over the past year at Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital. He was last seen in public on January 11, when he spent several hours visiting his palace in the Thai capital.

The monarch is deeply revered by many in Thailand, and news about his health is closely monitored.

Uncertainty over the king's health and an eventual succession has aggravated the political divide in Thailand as officials vie for influence. However, open discussion about the king's legacy is tightly controlled in Thailand, where it is a crime to defame or insult the country's royalty.

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