First U.S. Case Of Mers-CoV Confirmed In Indiana

May 2, 2014

Health officials said Friday that the first U.S. case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has been confirmed in Indiana.

The case is being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indiana State Department of Health.

MERS-CoV, a virus new to humans, causes an infection that develops severe acute respiratory illness. Confirmed cases are attributed with fever, cough and shortness of breath.

According to the CDC, about 30 percent of cases have turned fatal.

The first case was reported in the Arabian Peninsula in 2012 and since spread to seven other countries, including the United States as of Friday, May 2.

WRBI learned during a Friday afternoon press conference with U.S. Assistant Surgeon General Anne Schuchat, that the individual confirmed with the virus was a health care worker who has recently returned from working in Saudi Arabia.

“The patient is hospitalized in Indiana and we need clinicians around the country, not just in Indiana, to be on the alert in terms of travel associated with severe respitotory illness,” Schuchat said. “We think an active investigation in Indiana is going to help us understand what, if any, risk there is beyond the individual.”

Schuchat did not release details regarding what region of Indiana the patient is in.

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