Health officials say a deadly virus from the Middle East has turned up for the first time in the U.S.
An American who works as health care worker in Saudi Arabia is hospitalized in Indiana with the MERS virus.
Officials said Friday the man was diagnosed with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome after returning to the U.S. about a week ago.
They say he traveled back to the U.S. with stops in London and Chicago.
Out of an abundance of caution, the CDC is contacting other passengers on the planes he traveled on.
They say, though, that they don’t consider other travelers at high risk, because the virus does not seem to be easily spread.
Saudi Arabia has been the center of an outbreak of MERS, which surfaced two years ago. At least 400 cases have been reported, and more than 100 people have died.
“We’ve anticipated MERS reaching the US, and we’ve prepared for and are taking swift action,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a media release. “We’re doing everything possible with hospital, local, and state health officials to find people who may have had contact with this person so they can be evaluated as appropriate.”
Patients with MERS develop severe acute respiratory illness, with fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
The virus has been found in camels, but officials don't know how it is spreading to humans.
CDC officials say the Indiana man is in stable condition.
For more information:
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome:
Frequently Asked MERS Questions and Answers:
Indiana Department of Health
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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