First U.S. MERS Patient At Munster Hospital

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May 5, 2014 — Indiana Department of Health — The first identified U.S. case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome… better known as MERS… was diagnosed last week at Community Hospital in Munster.

The Indiana Department of Health says the patient remains hospitalized in isolation in good condition and has shown improvement each day.  Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention arrived at the hospital over the weekend and are assisting hospital staff and officials with coordination.  As of Sunday,  no other cases of MERS have been identified in the U.S.

Staff members at Community Hospital who had direct contact with the patient prior to the patient being placed in full isolation were taken off duty and placed in temporary home isolation.  Those individuals are being closely monitored for any signs or symptoms of the virus and will be allowed to return to work once the incubation period is over and they have confirmed negative lab results.  Symptoms of MERS may take up to 14 days to occur.

There have been no reported cases of people without symptoms transmitting this virus, and state health officials continue with daily monitoring of the staff.

Community Hospital CEO Don Fesko says they’re pleased the patient is improving and no other cases have been identified at this time.   He says they’re following every recommendation provided by the CDC and Indiana State Department of Health.


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