• 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.

CBS/AP

Latest Stories

  • News

    Don Young apologizes for suicide comments at AFN

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 12:19

    Rep. Don Young, who recently came under fire for his comments about suicide at a Wasilla high school earlier this week, publicly apologized at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention Friday. In a speech, Young said he gives the issues of suicide and mental illness “a high priority,” listing his co-sponorship of the Mental Health […]

  • News

    Lanterns with positive message surprise drivers, air traffic controllers

    by Hope Miller on Oct 24, 11:48

    Paper lanterns were launched into the sky in East Anchorage Thursday night with a message of hope for victims of domestic violence. The lanterns, however, came as a surprise to some in the area, causing officials to briefly reroute airplane traffic at Merrill Field. “Shed the Light” is an event aimed at starting the conversation […]

  • On-Air

    Mic Check in Morning: East High School Ukulele Society for Better Living

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 10:19

    A group of students at an Anchorage high school is inspiring others through the sound of music. The East High School Ukulele Society for Better Living performed live for Daybreak’s Mic Check in the Morning.

  • On-Air

    Get Out: Putters Wild

    by Brett Shepard on Oct 24, 9:23

    Last week I went disc golfing out at Kincaid Park. This week I’m back to a more traditional style of golf and I’ve brought a friend along. Janessa Webb joined me for this Get Out and we challenged each other to a friendly game of golf. “Here we have 18 holes of blacklight mini golf. There’s […]

  • News

    Seismologists study earthquakes near Minto

    by Associated Press on Oct 24, 9:06

    The Alaska state seismologist says big things may be coming from faults near the village of Minto about 50 miles west of Fairbanks. The third earthquake of at least magnitude 5.0 since Aug. 30 rocked the area Thursday. State seismologist Michael West tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner the area has become “very vigorous” and faults […]

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, Oct. 24

    by KTVA Weather on Oct 24, 8:40

    Friday brings a little more cloud coverage along with light rain and snow by afternoon. Clouds will start to fade away as we head into Saturday afternoon with Sunday being the day where sunshine will shine bright. Highs today will be in the upper-30s to low-40s with light winds. A storm system out of the […]

  • News

    End the cycle of violence a key message at AFN

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 8:21

    Violence affects all communities across Alaska in many different ways. It’s often hard to talk about. The Alaska Federation of Natives Convention is one place where people aren’t shying away from the topic. “Be the one to pull your family together and make them stronger. If you are in a bad situation, make it better. […]

  • News

    FBI investigated Guard while Sullivan was attorney general

    by Kate McPherson on Oct 24, 7:36

    Gov. Sean Parnell says he met with Alaska National Guard Adjutant Gen. Thomas Katkus 41 times over a four-year period beginning in 2010 to discuss allegations of sexual assault, fraud and other serious problems within the AKNG. At the time of some of the meetings, Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan was the state’s attorney general, […]