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CDC officials: Second suspected case of MERS in United States

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On Monday, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials and the Florida Department of Health confirmed they are examining a second suspected case of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the United States. Florida officials said the second case was also imported from another country, but offered no further details.

The Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have scheduled a Monday afternoon news conference to discuss the second case of the deadly MERS virus in the United States in as many weeks.

On May 2, CDC officials announced the first reported case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, in a patient admitted to Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana on April 28, 2014. The male patient was identified only as a U.S. citizen working in the healthcare field in Saudi Arabia.

In a media advisory release, CDC officials said on April 24, the patient flew from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Chicago's O'Hare Airport, after a stop in London and then traveled by bus to Highland, Indiana. The man did not become sick until arriving in Indiana, and was admitted to Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana. The Indiana patient made a full recovery and was released from Community Hospital, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Indiana health care officials said on Monday that preliminary laboratory test results for hospital employees in Indiana who came into contact with the MERS patient were negative. The MERS patient in Indiana made a full recovery and was released from Community Hospital in Munster, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

The deadly MERS virus has been primarily detected in patients in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East. However, reports of sporadic cases in Britain, Greece, France, Italy, Malaysia have raised concerns about the potential global spread of the disease by infected airline passengers.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), the symptoms of MERS-CoV infection include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Approximately thirty percent of patients diagnosed with MERS have died. There is no cure or antidote for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and CDC officials and scientists worldwide admit little is known about the deadly virus that appears to originate in camels.

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