Man with first U.S. case of MERS infection is hospitalized in Munster, Ind.

Saturday, May 3, 2014
By Paul Martin
May 03, 2014

NEW YORK Health officials say a deadly virus from the Middle East has turned up for the first time in the U.S.

An American who works as a health care worker in Saudi Arabia is hospitalized in Munster, Indiana, with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS-CoV.

On April 24, the patient traveled by plane from Saudi Arabia to London, England then from London to Chicago, Illinois.

The patient then took a bus from Chicago to Indiana.

On the 27th, the patient began to experience increasing respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing, and fever. The patient visited the Emergency Department at Community Hospital in Munster on April 28 and was admitted that same day.

The patient is being well cared for, is isolated and is in stable condition. Because of the patient’s symptoms and travel history, physicians at the hospital decided a MERS-CoV test was appropriate.

Community Hospital in Munster has contacted all high-risk individuals.

In an abundance of caution, individuals who visited the Emergency Department (ED) of Community Hospital in Munster between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on April 28, 2014 should watch for signs and symptoms.

If you visited the ED during this time and begin experiencing symptoms, please call your healthcare provider and let them know about your possible exposure to MERS.

The symptoms of MERS are similar to the symptoms of influenza, and include:

• Congestion
• Cough
• Fever over 100.4 degrees
• Shortness of breath
• Pneumonia

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