U.S. MERS patients did not infect families, hospital workers

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Two U.S. citizens diagnosed with MERS do not appear to have spread the disease to their family members or to the hospital workers that treated them, according to a report by LiveScience

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control identified two U.S. cases of MERS, Middle East respiratory syndrome, in patients that had traveled to Saudi Arabia. Both had taken multiple flights before arriving back in the U.S. and being hospitalized, according to news reports. The cases were identified in Florida and Indiana. 

Family members and hospital workers that had contact with the patients were tested by the CDC, and all results came back negative for MERS, LiveScience reports. 

The CDC called the results “encouraging.” 

“Today, the risk of MERS-CoV infection in the United States remains low, but it is important that we remain vigilant and quickly identify and respond to any additional importations,” said Dr. David Swerdlow, the public health official leading the CDC’s response to the virus.

Health officials have also contacted all the people who traveled on airplanes or other public transportation with the two infected patients, and none of those contacts appears to have been infected, the CDC said.


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About the Author

Jennifer Pompi

Jennifer Pompi is a general assignment reporter and afternoon slot editor for The Washington Times. Previously, she worked as an editor for AOL/Patch, covering hyperlocal news in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland. She can be reached at jpompi@washingtontimes.com.

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