CDC Confirms Second MERS Case In U.S., Says Traveler Came Through Atlanta
The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed a second case of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome – or MERS – in the U.S.
The CDC says the patient has been hospitalized in Orlando and is a U.S. healthcare worker who was serving Saudi Arabia.
According to the center, the man in question originated in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, traveling through London, Boston and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on May 1 before arriving in Orlando. The man poses minimal risk for those at the airport during that time period, according to Dr. Anne Schuchat, head of the national center for immunization and respiratory diseases at the CDC.
“We are just beginning the investigation, but we’ll be notifying passengers who were on the flights with the same patient. This is early days, though, and the travelers will be contacted in the days ahead,” Schuchat said.
Schuchat said flight crew and health officials who may have come in contact with the patient will also be notified.
The respiratory illness has killed more than 100 people, primarily in the Arabian Peninsula. Symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath.
The first U.S. case was confirmed earlier this month in Indiana. It was found in a man traveling from Saudi Arabia who has since been deemed fully recovered and released from the hospital.