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CDC Confirms First Case Of MERS Virus In Indiana

CDC officials say a person who traveled from Saudi Arabia to Indiana is the first person in the United States to be identified with the respiratory virus MERS.

mers

Photo: CDC

MERS-CoV particles as seen by negative stain electron microscopy.

The first case of the deadly respiratory virus MERS-CoV has been identified in the U.S. in Indiana, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed.

CDC and the Indiana State Department of Heath are conducting a joint investigation into the case.

The person with the virus is a health care provider who was recently practicing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where the virus was first identified in 2012.

The person traveled from Saudi Arabia to London, then Chicago and took a bus to Indiana. He or she was checked into the hospital April 28.

The Centers for Disease Control is not releasing the name of the patient or of the airline or bus which the patient traveled.

They also did not releasing the identity or gender of the patient or where he or she is hospitalized. Officials say the patient is in “stable” condition and requires life support. In a press conference, they added they do not believe the virus is easily spread.

There are no reports of other ill patients and Assistant Surgeon General Anne Schuchat says the investigation very active.

“We are approaching this with an abundance of caution,” she says. “And so assuring that we notify contact throughout the conveyances that the patient was on, and those close contacts in the health care facility or family is really being taken out of an abundance of caution.”

Schuchat says the individual is getting excellent care in Indiana, but would not specify in what city or hospital.

The Centers for Disease Control is not releasing the name of the airline or bus which the patient traveled.

The MERS CoV infection is confirmed in 262 people in 12 countries by the World Health Organization.  93 of those people have died.

All MERS cases have been linked to six countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula

WFYI’s Sam Klemet contributed to this report. This story will be updated.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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