Health department says man treated for deadly MERS virus in Indiana improving

The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus is seen in an undated transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
HANDOUT | Reuters
The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus is seen in an undated transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Posted May 04, 2014, at 1:46 p.m.

A health care worker being treated in Indiana with the first U.S. case of the often fatal Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is in good condition and improving daily, the state health department said Sunday.

State and federal health officials confirmed Friday that the man had been diagnosed with the virus after traveling to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and exhibiting symptoms upon his return to the United States.

“We are very pleased the patient is improving and no other cases have been identified at this time,” said Dr. William VanNess II, Indiana’s state health commissioner.

Medical staff members who came into direct contact with the ill man before he was placed in full isolation at Community Hospital in Munster, where he remains, were taken off duty and put in temporary home isolation, state health officials said.

They will be allowed back to work after the incubation period ends and laboratory results are confirmed to be negative for the virus, the state said. MERS symptoms can take up to 14 days to occur, and the virus has no known treatments.

The first confirmed case of MERS in the United States raised fresh concerns about the rapid spread of the disease, which proves fatal in about a third of infections.

 

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