The United States has reported its first case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The patient is an American health-care provider who visited Saudi Arabia recently. The person flew from Riyadh to London to Chicago on April 24 and reached Indiana by bus. The patient fell ill on April 27 and was hospitalized the next day, U.S. officials said.
While briefing the media on Friday, Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said, “The CDC is trying to determine who may have come into contact with the patient who is under observation.”
According to the health officials at Community Hospital in Munster, Ind., the patient developed a cough and fever three days after returning to the US. The doctors tested him for the MERS virus and the result turned out positive.
The officials have not released more specific information about the patient or his travels.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia are facing the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak. The first case of MERS human infection was reported in September 2012 and since then it has claimed over 100 deaths so far.
According to the CDC, there have been 401 confirmed cases of MERS infections reported from 12 countries, including the US. All reported cases have originated in one of six Arabian Peninsula countries: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Jordan and Kuwait.
Dr. Michael Lin, an infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center, said, “Right now we don’t have a lot of experience with this in the US. Most of our information about how this virus spreads comes from the Middle East.”
Lin further said, “Fortunately MERS does not seem to be extremely contagious”.
Some of the common symptoms of MERS are: fever, cough and respiratory problems