NEW YORK, May 28 (Reuters) - 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