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MUNSTER, Ind. May 5 All workers at the Indiana
hospital where the first U.S. case of the often deadly Middle
East Respiratory Syndrome was confirmed last week have tested
negative for the virus, officials at Community Hospital in
Munster, Indiana, said on Monday.
"We had about 50 employees who had contact with the patient.
Every person who had contact with (him) has been tested, and
they all have tested negative," Alan Kumar, Chief Medical
Information Officer at Community Hospital told a joint news
Health officials said they will continue to monitor and test
people who had close contact with the MERS patient, who fell ill
after traveling from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he lives and
works, to visit family in the United States.
About three-quarters of the people who came in contact with
the patient during his travel have been contacted by the Centers
for Disease Control and local health departments, said Daniel
Feikin of the CDC.
Meanwhile, the Indiana patient's condition continues to
improve. He no longer requires supplemental oxygen and is
expected to be released from the hospital soon, Kumar said.
State and federal health officials on Friday confirmed the
first U.S. case of MERS, which presents symptoms similar to
influenza and kills about a third of those infected. Most MERS
fatalities have been among the elderly and the vast majority of
cases have occurred in Saudi Arabia.
Eighteen more people in Saudi Arabia have contracted MERS,
bringing the number of cases there to 414, its health ministry
said on Monday, more than a quarter of whom have died.
(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen in Munster, Indiana, and Karl
Plume in Chicago; Editing by James Dalgleish)