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First case of U.S. MERS transmission reported

Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 01:07

May 18 - An Illinois man tests positive for the MERS virus after coming in contact with an infected patient who was a business associate, marking the first transmission of the deadly virus in the U.S. Mana Rabiee reports.

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U.S. health officials think the deadly MERS virus may be on the move. On Saturday, they said an Indiana man may have transmitted the virus to a business associate in Illinois. SOUNDBITE: DR. LAMAR HASBROUCK, ILLINOIS DEPT. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, SAYING: "It does look like the first case of transmission in the U.S. and so that would be concerning." The Centers for Disease Control says the Indiana man contracted the virus while in the Middle East. He didn't have the tell-tale cough of the MERS virus yet when he met with his Illinois colleague. The two had a 40-minute meeting. They're closest contact, a handshake. SOUNDBITE: DR. LAMAR HASBROUCK, ILLINOIS DEPT. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, SAYING: "So that can mean at the end of the day that this virus is more easily transmittable than we thought initially." The Illinois patient has tested positive for MERS antibodies, not the live virus itself. He shows no signs of illness. That could suggest milder forms of the virus, which kills about 30 percent of those infected. SOUNDBITE: DR. LAMAR HASBROUCK, ILLINOIS DEPT. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, SAYING: "Every single case is different. It is a spectrum of possibilities and we're trying to learn as much as we can." The CDC is tracking everyone the Illinois man may have been in contact with to see if any of them could be infected. Researchers are also investigating whether people infected with MERS, but showing no symptoms, can still pass the virus on to others.

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First case of U.S. MERS transmission reported

Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 01:07