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Deadly MERS virus surfaces in Indiana, first case in the United States

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The Center for Disease Control issued a media advisory on Friday confirming the agency together with the Indiana State Department of Heath is investigating a case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Indiana.

The first reported case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, was diagnosed in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Worldwide, more than 100 people have died from MERS over the last two years. The Indiana case of MERS is the first known case in the United States.

The 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 died.

In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Center for Disease Control has developed preparedness goals intended to measure state and local public health jurisdictions’ preparedness and response to bio-terrorism, outbreaks of infectious diseases, and other public health threats and emergencies.