Traveler with 2nd MERS case flew through Atlanta - CBS46 News

Traveler with 2nd MERS case flew through Atlanta

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a man who traveled from Saudi Arabia to Orlando tested positive for Middle East respiratory syndrome corona virus, or MERS-CoV.

According to a release from the Florida Department of Health,  the man is in good condition and improving.

"The patient first flew to London and then through Boston and Atlanta, arriving in Orlando on May 1. The patient was hospitalized on May 9 and was placed in isolation once MERS-CoV was suspected," the release said. "Efforts are underway to make contact with any individuals who had close contact with the patient during travel or in the Orlando area."

According to the CDC this is the second confirmed case in the United States.

In a statement the CDC updated the public on the two cases:

"On May 2, 2014, the first U.S. case of MERS was confirmed in a traveler from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. The traveler is considered to be fully recovered and has been released from the hospital. Public health officials have contacted healthcare workers, family members, and travelers who had close contact with the patient. At this time, none of these contacts has had evidence of being infected with MERS-CoV. On May 11, 2014, a second U.S. imported case of MERS was confirmed in a traveler who also came to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia. This patient is currently hospitalized and doing well. People who had close contact with this patient are being contacted. The two U.S. cases are not linked."

This man - like the first U.S. patient in Indiana earlier this month - was a healthcare worker in a hospital in Saudi Arabia where MERS cases have been treated.

"With this particular virus we don't think it poses a risk at all to the general public," said Dr. Cherie Drenzek, the state's epidemiologist with the Georgia Department of Health. "From what we know so far about how this virus spreads, luckily, it doesn't transmit very easily from one person to the other. It seems to require very close contact."

The virus was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Since then at least 480 cases have been confirmed in Saudi Arabia and 139 people there have died. Cases have also been reported in several nearby countries including the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

The only cases identified so far in the U.S. or Europe have been in people who had recently traveled to the region. At this point, they have not passed the virus on to anyone in the U.S.

Symptoms of MERS can include fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.

MERS can spread from person to person, but officials believe it that normally happens only in cases of close contact, such as between patients and healthcare workers. Not all of those exposed to the virus develop the illness.

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