A second patient in the U.S. has been identified as having the potentially deadly virus known as MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), the CDC announced today.
The patient, like the first one identified earlier this month, is also a health care worker who lives and works in Saudi Arabia. The patient was visiting family in the U.S. He is now in good condition in an Orlando-area hospital. “The patient is isolated and doing well,” Tom Frieden, MD, director of the CDC, said at a news conference.
CDC and Florida public health officials declined to identify the new patient or to provide the patient’s gender. The patient traveled by plane from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to London May 1, then on to Boston, Atlanta, and Orlando.
The patient went to the emergency room on May 8. The CDC confirmed the MERS tests results on Sunday evening.
Over the next few days, public health officials will notify roughly 500 passengers who were on the U.S. legs of the flights, alerting them to be aware of possible symptoms and to seek medical help if they notice any.
The general public is at low risk for contracting the virus, said Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. She also spoke at the news conference. “The virus has not shown the ability to spread from person to person in a community setting. It has been really universally [found] in people who have had very close contact.”
The first U.S. case, a patient visiting Indiana, was confirmed last week. The first patient has recovered and was released from an Indiana hospital May 9. No one in contact with that patient has come down with any MERS symptoms.
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SOURCE: WebMD Health News