Confirmed: 2nd US Case of Mysterious MERS Virus

But risk to public is 'very low,' says CDC official

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 12, 2014 5:18 PM CDT

(Newser) – Health officials have confirmed a second US case of a mysterious virus that has sickened hundreds in the Middle East. The latest case is not an American—he is a resident of Saudi Arabia, visiting Florida, who is now in an Orlando hospital. He was diagnosed with MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, last night. It is a respiratory illness that begins with flu-like fever and cough but can lead to shortness of breath, pneumonia, and death.

Fortunately, the US cases so far have not been severe. The first case, an American man who traveled from Saudi Arabia to Indiana, was released from a hospital late last week after being diagnosed earlier this month. And the second patient is doing well, officials say. The two cases are not linked. "The risk to the public remains very low," said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This undated file electron microscope image shows novel coronavirus particles, also known as the MERS virus, colorized in yellow.
This undated file electron microscope image shows novel coronavirus particles, also known as the MERS virus, colorized in yellow.   (AP Photo/NIAID - RML, File)
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