• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 56s

First case of MERS virus confirmed in U.S.

By CBS/AP 4:07 PM May 2, 2014

Last Updated May 2, 2014 7:04 PM EDT

A deadly virus from the Middle East has turned up for the first time in the United States, health officials say.

An American who works as health care worker in Saudi Arabia is hospitalized in Indiana with the MERS virus. Officials said Friday the patient was diagnosed with Middle East respiratory syndrome after returning to the U.S. about a week ago. On Friday afternoon, the patient was reported to be in good condition at Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana.

Saudi Arabia was been the center of an outbreak of MERS, which first surfaced two years ago. At least 400 cases have been reported, and more than 100 people have died. The virus has been found in camels, but officials don’t know how it is spreading to humans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the U.S. case to track down anyone he had close contact with recently. Officials say the man flew from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to London, England and then to Chicago, Illinois. The patient then took a bus from Chicago to Indiana.”We are working with partners to make sure that the person they traveled with are contacted and notified and be on the look out for symptoms,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat with the CDC.

“In this interconnected world we have expected MERS-CoV to make its way to us,” said Dr. Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, in a press conference held by the agency.

The director of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden, said health officials have been preparing for the possibility of the virus making its way to this country. “We’ve anticipated MERS reaching the US, and we’ve prepared for and are taking swift action,” he said. “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.”

CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook reports the Indiana patient is in isolation, in stable condition. There’s no specific treatment or vaccine for MERS, LaPook said. When it spreads from person to person, it appears to be through close contact.


Latest Stories

  • News

    Mears Middle School students ‘mix it up at lunch’ in effort to end bullying

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 25, 19:57

    Sometimes it’s tough to talk to people you don’t know, but if you push yourself to do it, you might be surprised. Some students at Mears Middle School learned that lesson on Tuesday when they took part in a national event called Mix it up at Lunch Day. School counselor Michelle Keller said it’s a […]

  • Politics

    Behind the Ballot: Steve Lindbeck for US House of Representatives

    by Liz Raines on Oct 25, 19:41

    Steve Lindbeck is now the 24th person to try to unseat Alaska’s longest-serving congressman, Rep. Don Young. He doesn’t have the same name recognition as past contenders, but he’s hopeful his personal outreach can make up the difference. Phone call after phone call, Lindbeck has managed to mount a competitive campaign against Young. He’s raised even […]

  • News

    Fairbanks police chief put back on administrative leave by new mayor

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 25, 17:45

    In one of his first official acts as the new mayor of Fairbanks, Mayor Jim Matherly placed Police Chief Randall Aragon back on paid administrative leave, effective immediately. The Fairbanks Police Department issued a statement Tuesday announcing the move. Aragon was originally placed on administrative leave in September while the city investigated claims of conflict […]

  • Man accused of murder extradited to Alaska to face trial

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 25, 17:34

    Riek Gat made his first appearance in Alaska court on Tuesday for his alleged role in an August murder. Gat was extradited from West Virginia, where he fled soon after Mitchell’s murder. Mitchell was shot multiple times in the head and chest and left to die on Campbell Airstrip Road. He was found the morning […]

  • News

    DOT: Whittier tunnel closed due to rockfall

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 25, 17:19

    A rockfall inside the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, which provides access to Whittier, has forced the tunnel’s closure until further notice, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. DOT spokesman Jeremy Woodrow said at least one large rock fell overnight and was discovered in the tunnel Tuesday morning. He said no one was […]

  • News

    Olympian Alev Kelter to speak at Alaska Women’s Summit

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 25, 15:31

    Olympian Alev Kelter is back home in Alaska. She competed in the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Brazil on the women’s rugby team. Emily Carlson sat down with her to discuss her experience in Rio de Janeiro and what’s next for the Alaska athlete. Both Carlson and Kelter will be speaking at the 2016 Alaska […]

  • News

    National Guard seeks Alaska Natives with subsistence skills

    by Adrian Wagner/KYUK on Oct 25, 14:49

    This story originated from KYUK Public Media and was republished with permission. BETHEL — The Army National Guard has announced the start of a three-year pilot program that gives waivers to Alaska Natives who might be trying to join the Guard, but face barriers to qualification. Some of these potential recruits have the very skills the military […]

  • Politics

    Alaska governor puts pension bond plan on hold

    by KTVA / AP on Oct 25, 14:35

    Gov. Bill Walker says the state will not proceed with plans to sell bonds to help pay for Alaska’s pension obligations at this time, citing lack of support from Senate lawmakers. In a statement Tuesday, Walker said administration officials discussed the proposal with the Senate Finance Committee but did not get buy-in for the idea. […]