February 18, 2016 / 2:02 PM / 2 years ago

Palace says Thai king recovers from fever, infection present

Army officials gather to celebrate Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 88th birthday, in front of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, December 5, 2015.Jorge Silva

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej is recovering from a fever but is still being treated for an infection, the palace said in a statement on Thursday.

The bulletin on the king's health from the Royal Household Bureau, the palace's second this week, said King Bhumibol, the world's longest reigning monarch, was being administered antibiotics and oxygen.

"His Majesty's temperature is lower and his breathing has slowed down. His Majesty's pulse is slower," the palace said in its statement.

"There is still some infection in the body," it said, adding that antibiotics were being administered intravenously.

The king has been in hospital since the end of May and has received treatment for various ailments. He was last seen in public on Jan. 11, when he left hospital briefly to visit his Bangkok palace for a few hours.

Nervousness over his health and the succession has formed the backdrop to more than a decade of political crisis in Thailand, where the military took power in a coup in May 2014.

The heir to the throne, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, does not command the same devotion as his father.

In a statement on Tuesday the palace said the king had a fever, was suffering from fatigue and an infection whose cause was being investigated.[L3N15V40B]

News about the royals is tightly controlled in Thailand, where harsh laws protecting the royal family from insult make it a crime to defame, insult or threaten the king, queen, heir to the throne or regent.

Critics say the law is often used to pursue political opponents and that it has been increasingly broadly interpreted in recent years.

Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Alison Williams

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