NewsHealthHealthcare / May 12, 2014

Second Case Of MERS Found In U.S.

Sam Klemet
Second Case Of MERS Found In U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control says there is a second case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, in the United States.

Less than three weeks after a patient was first treated for the disease in Indiana, another has been hospitalized in Florida.

The patient treated at Community Hospital in Munster, Ind. was released Friday.

He was a health care worker in Saudi Arabia, the same as the most recent MERS patient who is isolated but said to be doing well in Orlando.

National health officials say the likelihood of an outbreak in the U.S. is low, but Marion County Health Director Virginia Cain says local officials are keeping a close eye on MERS.

"We've got to make sure that we've got protocols in place that when someone is coming down with respiratory symptoms, especially pneumonia or flu-like illnesses, are you asking the question; where have you traveled?  Where have you been?," she said.  "If we didn't know that this gentleman had come from Saudi Arabia with those symptoms, he just came in for pneumonia, we never asked that question, we wouldn't have realized it was MERS."

Most of the health care workers who worked with the patient in Munster are expected to return back to work this week. They were isolated for 14 days a precaution, but none tested positive for the disease.

MERS comes from around Saudi Arabia, and about 30 percent of the roughly 500 people who have contract the disease die as a result.



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