MERS Patient Improving, Virus Appears Contained

May 9, 2014

Health officials have provided an update regarding the first domestic case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS found in Indiana last week.

The man fell ill with the virus after flying to back from Saudi Arabia last month. He arrived at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and was admitted into Munster Community Hospital in northwestern Indiana. The patient has been improving and is expected to be released from the hospital soon.

Preliminary tests reveal that all hospital employees who came in contact with the patient, as well as the patient’s close family contacts, are negative for MERS.

“Having the first case of MERS in the United States appear right here in Indiana is a scary situation and I understand the concerns felt by those who live and work in the Chicago and northwestern Indiana area,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D.

“I want to assure everyone that our state medical experts, CDC, and Community Hospital of Munster have been working around the clock to contain the spread of this disease and protect Americans.”

State and federal health officials have been working to monitor the situation and prevent the spread of the virus.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence applauded the joint effort of healthcare workers saying, “Working together, they did an excellent job in protecting the public health. We commend all involved.”

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