First U.S. case of MERS reported in Indiana

May 5, 2014

An American man is currently being treated for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at a hospital in Munster, Indiana – the first known case of the virus in the United States according to the CDC. MERS, a coronavirus, was first discovered in 2012 on the Arabian Peninsula. The World Health Organization has confirmed 293 cases in twelve countries since, including ninety-three deaths. In this first American case, the man had just returned on April 24 from Saudi Arabia, where he was providing health care.

The Indiana State Department of Health indicates that on April 27, the man came down with a cough, fever, and shortness of breath. He was admitted the next day to Community Hospital after visiting the Emergency Department and is currently in stable condition, being treated in isolation. The CDC will be contacting fellow passengers from the man’s flight from Riyadh as well as his bus from Chicago, though they feel these individuals are not at high risk for having contracted the virus.

Research suggests that MERS is unlikely to cause a pandemic, but even so, the CDC recommends basic precautions such as frequent hand-washing, disinfecting surfaces, and avoiding contact with those exhibiting respiratory symptoms.

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