First Confirmed Case of MERS Reported in the United States
The first confirmed case of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the United States was just announced by the Centers for Disease Control.
The severe virus can cause pneumonia and kills about one-third of the people who get it.
Officials say the patient had just visited Saudi Arabia and is now quarantined at a hospital in Indiana. The CDC is now looking for people who came in contact with him.
Fox News’ Roberts reported that there has been a rise in cases reported in Saudi Arabia. On April 24, the man boarded a plane from Saudi Arabia to London Heathrow Airport. From there, he caught a connection to O’Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois. Then he got on a bus and went home to Indiana.
British officials are also looking for people who were on the flight from Saudi Arabia.
MERS is caused by a coronavirus, similar to the one that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), though they are not the same. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The fatality rate among confirmed cases is 30 to 50 percent.
It can spread through close contact, though there is no sustained spread. The big concern is that with a few small clusters, this is a virus that could become easily transmissible between people.
There is no current treatment or vaccine. Learn more about MERS in the report above and from the CDC here.