2 health care workers exposed to MERS patient had flu-like symptoms. Tests are back, and they are both negative.
Janill Gilbert stashed this in Medical
We move around with such relative ease now, this was bound to happen. Hope it is contained quickly ;)
Which it appears to have been. The virus is not very contagious, one needs to be in fairly intimate contact with someone infected, for example a healthcare worker is more likely to get the virus from a patient, than a family member that lives in the home with someone infected.
The 44-year-old Florida patient traveled on May 1 from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to London, then from London to Boston; Boston to Atlanta; and Atlanta to Orlando.
The man began feeling unwell on the flight from Jeddah, and continued feeling ill on subsequent flights, with symptoms including "fever, chills and a slight cough," Schuchat said.
On May 8, the man went to the emergency department of Orlando's Dr. P. Phillips Hospital.
The hospital said the man is "in good condition and continuing to improve."
Dr. Antonio Crespo, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital, said officials "believe the risk of transmission from this patient is very low since his symptoms were mild and he was not coughing when he arrived at the hospital."
The man was visiting family and did not visit any theme parks in the Orlando area, said Dr. John Armstrong, Florida's state surgeon general and secretary of health.
As in the Indiana case, officials were attempting to contact people -- in this case, more than 500 -- who may have come in contact with the person during travel, both in the United States and abroad. (The Indiana patient was an American health care provider who had been working in Saudi Arabia and was on a planned visit to Indiana to see his family.)
In addition, 16 staff members at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital have been notified of possible exposure and are being tested for the virus.
Testing of people who have come in contact with the Indiana patient continues, and no additional cases have been seen, said Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC director.
The CDC has dispatched a team to Saudi Arabia in conjunction with the WHO, Frieden said.
MERS first emerged in 2012, with the first cases being diagnosed in the Arabian Peninsula in 2012. As of Friday, there have been 538 cases in 17 countries, including 145 deaths, according to the WHO, said Schuchat.
The virus is also known as MERS-CoV, since it is a coronavirus, the same group of viruses as the common cold. It attacks the respiratory system, according to the CDC. Symptoms can lead to pneumonia or kidney failure.
Testing for MERS involves looking for the virus's molecular structure in a patient's nose or blood. While the patient in Indiana was the first MERS case on U.S. soil, the CDC has been preparing for such a scenario and had been conducting an awareness campaign with hospitals and doctors since MERS emerged.
There are no travel restrictions to the Arabian Peninsula; however, the CDC suggests that people who visit there monitor their health and watch for any flu-like symptoms. If you do feel unwell after such a trip, be sure to tell your doctor about your travel.
There is no vaccine or special treatment for MERS. Doctors say they believe the Indiana patient's quick diagnosis and care dramatically increased his chances for getting better.
No one knows exactly how this virus originated, but evidence implicating camels is emerging. In a recently published study in mBio, researchers said they isolated live MERS virus from two single-humped camels, known as dromedaries. They found multiple substrains in the camel viruses, including one that perfectly matches a substrain isolated from a human patient.
The same group of researchers reported in February that nearly three-quarters of camels in Saudi Arabia tested positive for past exposure to the MERS coronavirus.
MERS is considered a deadlier, but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that broke out in Asia in 2003, infecting 8,273 people and killing nearly 800.
Saudi Arabia has announced that another 13 people have died from the MERS coronavirus in the past day, as the World Health Organisation prepares for an emergency meeting over concerns about the spread of the disease.
The Middle East Respiratory System coronavirus has now killed 139 people and infected 480 others in the kingdom since it first appeared in 2012.