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Published On: Fri, May 2nd, 2014

MERS coronavirus confirmed in Indiana, first case reported in the US

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Indiana Department of Health have confirmed today the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the United States in a traveler returning from Saudi Arabia.

According to the investigation, on April 24, the patient traveled by plane from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to London, England then from London to Chicago, Illinois.  The patient then took a bus from Chicago to Indiana.  On the 27th, the patient began to experience respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing, and fever.

The patient went to an emergency department in an Indiana hospital on April 28th and was admitted on that same day. The patient is being well cared for and is isolated; the patient is currently in stable condition. Because of the patient’s symptoms and travel history, Indiana public health officials tested for MERS-CoV. The Indiana state public health laboratory and CDC confirmed MERS-CoV infection in the patient this afternoon. 

 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Image/CDC

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
Image/CDC

“We’ve anticipated MERS reaching the US, and we’ve prepared for and are taking swift action,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “We’re doing everything possible with hospital, local, and state health officials to find people who may have had contact with this person so they can be evaluated as appropriate.  This case reminds us that we are all connected by the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink.  We can break the chain of transmission in this case through focused efforts here and abroad.”

Frieden continues, “In this interconnected world we live in, we expected MERS-CoV to make its way to the United States.  We have been preparing since 2012 for this possibility.”

Federal, state, and local health officials are taking action to minimize the risk of spread of the virus.  The Indiana hospital is using full precautions to avoid exposure within the hospital and among healthcare professionals and other people interacting with the patient, as recommended by CDC.

In July 2013, CDC posted checklists and resource lists for healthcare facilities and providers to assist with preparing to implement infection control precautions for MERS-CoV. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.

The federal health agency notes, including this U.S. importation, there have been 401 confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection in 12 countries. To date, all reported cases have originated in six countries in the Arabian Peninsula.  Most of these people developed severe acute respiratory illness, with fever, cough, and shortness of breath; 93 people died.

Officials do not know where the virus came from or exactly how it spreads. There is no available vaccine or specific treatment recommended for the virus.

About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Alabama individual being tested for MERS | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] The two unlinked imported cases of MERS in the United States were from Indiana and Florida. […]

  2. Florida reports the second case of MERS virus in the US | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] days after the first Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was confirmed in the United States in an Indiana man, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Florida Department of […]

  3. Florida reports the second case of MERS virus in the US - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] days after the first Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was confirmed in the United States in an Indiana man, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Florida Department of […]

  4. US MERS patient released from Indiana hospital, &… – The Global Dispatch | Everyday News Update says:

    […] Indiana patient who contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia last month, has fully recovered from the infections and has been discharged from the […]

  5. US MERS patient released from Indiana hospital, ‘fully recovered’ and MERS virus negative | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] Indiana patient who contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia last month, has fully recovered from the infections and has been discharged from the […]

  6. US MERS patient released from Indiana hospital, ‘fully recovered’ and MERS virus negative - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Indiana patient who contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia last month, has fully recovered from the infections and has been discharged from the […]

  7. Indiana MERS patient in ‘good condition’, hospital working on discharge plans - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] an update from the Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana, the patient who was admitted with a confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus … is recovering well and in good condition, according to hospital […]

  8. Indiana MERS patient ‘improving’, no new cases reported | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] a follow up to a report Friday, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is reporting the still unnamed MERS coronavirus […]

  9. Indiana MERS patient ‘improving’, no new cases reported - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] a follow up to a report Friday, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is reporting the still unnamed MERS coronavirus […]

  10. Chikungunya: More cases reported in St. Vincent, Haiti records first cases – The Global Dispatch | Latest News Portal Info says:

    […] […]

  11. Chikungunya: More cases reported in St. Vincent, Haiti records first cases – The Global Dispatch | Everyday News Update says:

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