First case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome confirmed in U.S.
Friday, May 02, 2014 - 01:08
May 2 - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms the first U.S. case of the newly-emerging Middle East Respiratory Virus or MERS within U.S. borders. Jillian Kitchener reports.
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The Middle East Respiratory Virus -- known as MERS -- is within U.S. borders.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the first case of this respiratory illness.
It's a SARS-like virus, first detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. ANNE SCHUCHAT, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR IMMUNIZATION AND RESPIRATORY DISEASES, SAYING,
"So our assumption right now is that the patient in question acquired the infection while they were in Saudi Arabia and then traveled home through London, Chicago to Indiana where they developed clinical symptoms and were admitted to the hospital."
There are 371 confirmed infections in Saudi Arabia, representing a jump of 89 percent during the month of April.
Health experts believe the initial source of transmission was from an animal reservoir, probably camels.
The CDC says the infected patient within the U.S. is now in stable condition.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. ANNE SCHUCHAT, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR IMMUNIZATION AND RESPIRATORY DISEASES, SAYING:
"We are concerned and taking this seriously and focusing on close contacts of the patient so that they can be monitored for signs and symptoms but we think the risk for the general public is very low."
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