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MERS Transmitted In The U.S. For The First Time

An Illinois man contracted MERS from one of two earlier known cases but did not suffer significant illness or seek medical treatment.
Posted at 11:40 AM, May 18, 2014

The first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is thought to have been transmitted in the U.S. this month. Fortunately, doctors say it was about as eventful as your average cold.

The Illinois man is the third confirmed case of the disease, known as MERS, in the country.

“The first two became infected with the disease while working as healthcare workers in Saudi Arabia, where the outbreak of the virus has been concentrated.” (Via Press TV)

“This third case, he caught it here on U.S. soil. He caught it from one of the two MERS patients during a business meeting.” (Via CNN)

MERS originally cropped up in 2012. The disease is transmitted through close contact. Patients experience fever, coughing and shortness of breath, but the severity of symptoms will vary. (Via BBC)

Blood tests showed the Illinois man has developed antibodies to MERS, indicating he’d been infected. But a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows he never needed nor sought medical treatment.

According to the CDC, about 30 percent of those infected have died. There have been 572 confirmed cases worldwide so far.

There is no known cure or vaccine for MERS. The CDC advises people take basic precautions to prevent respiratory infection, like washing hands and avoiding close contact with other people who appear sick.