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Saturday, May 03, 2014

BREAKING : MERS VIRUS ENTERS UNITED STATES

All Saudi, Middle East flights need to be shut down immediately; avoid hospitals; strict quarantine for suspected cases; oxygen of any kind administered; Ribavirin only pharmaceutical antiviral known to slow replication of corona viruses and may be used as prophylaxis

AGENCIES
05/03/2014

Health officials indicate that Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has turned up in Indiana, and it’s the first report of the virus in the U.S. 
 
 
The CDC is investigating along with Indiana health officials.

MERS is a viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Most people with a MERS infection developed severe acute respiratory illness, though some infected experienced only mild symptoms.

Symptoms may include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

In the past two years, at least 400 cases of the respiratory illness have been reported, and more than 100 people have died.


Saudi Arabia has been the center of the outbreak. All the victims have had ties to the Middle East or to someone who traveled there.

MERS has spread from ill people to others through close contact. However, the virus has not shown to spread in a sustained way in communities.

The patient is a health-care provider who recently traveled to Saudi Arabia to provide health care, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general with the U.S. Public Health Service and director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. 
 
 
The person traveled on April 24 from Riyadh to London, then to Chicago, and took a bus to Indiana, officials said.

The person is in an Indiana hospital, has been isolated and is in stable condition, she said. The patient was receiving oxygen support, but was not on a ventilator.

The infected patient, a healthcare provider, likely caught the virus in the Middle East, the CDC said in a conference call today. 
 
 
The patient left Saudi Arabia on 24 April, traveled first to Chicago and then to Indiana, but did not develop symptoms until after arriving in the US. The patient was admitted to a Hospital in Indiana on 28 April, and is now in stable condition.

Health officials do not yet know if others have been infected, but they are trying to get in touch with everyone who may have come in contact with the patient, including people on the plane to Chicago. The incubation period is of about five days and some people don't develop symptoms.

There has been an increase in the number of cases in the Middle East since March 2014, and scientists do not yet know the cause. More than 100 people have died of the disease since 2012.



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