Florida health officials, CDC confirm second U.S. case of MERS

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(May 12, 2014) – Health officials from Florida and the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the second U.S. case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Monday.

The first case of MERS was reported on May 2, 2014, in Munster, Ind. The virus is relatively new, having been first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

The second case has been reported in Florida, but health officials provided no additional details about the circumstances. More information is expected during a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday.

The case in Munster involved a health care worker who lived and worked in Saudi Arabia. He was quickly isolated at Community Hospital. The man was released from the hospital last week after his symptoms abated and doctors determined he was no longer infectious.

The patient had fully recovered and no longer posed a threat, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. He is able to travel, if necessary, doctors said.

Hospital staff members who had direct contact with the patient remain off-duty and isolated. They were still being closely monitored and tested for MERS. They’ll be able to return to work once the virus’ incubation period has passed and tests for MERS come back negative.

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