NEW YORK May 28 U.S. health officials on
Wednesday walked back their earlier conclusion that a healthcare
worker who traveled from Saudi Arabia to Indiana and was
diagnosed with Middle East Respiratory Virus (MERS) had infected
an acquaintance upon his return.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in
a statement that additional and more definitive laboratory tests
showed that the healthcare worker did not spread the deadly
virus to an Illinois business associate he met with twice before
becoming ill and seeking treatment at a hospital.
The case in Illinois had been considered the first direct
transmission of the MERS virus on U.S. soil. It raised alarms
that it might be transmissible outside hospitals and other
healthcare settings, especially by doctors, nurses and others
who had worked in Saudi Arabia, the epicenter of MERS.
(Reporting by Sharon Begley; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)