FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2018

Second U.S. MERS case identified in Florida

A second case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was confirmed on Sunday in Florida.

The case, which is not believed to be linked to the case reported on May 2 in Indiana, was confirmed in a healthcare worker who lives and works in Saudi Arabia and was visiting the U.S. Both cases were found in healthcare workers from Saudi Arabia.

"This second confirmed case of MERS in a person who worked in health care from an area of risk is not surprising," CDC Director Tom Frieden said. "To continue to strengthen our own health security, we need to increase our global ability to support other countries to help them find and stop threats such as MERS promptly, and to prevent them whenever possible."

The patient traveled from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on May 1 to London and then on to Boston and Atlanta before arriving in Orlando, Florida. The patient reported feeling unwell during the Jeddah to London leg of the flight with symptoms including fever, chills and a slight cough.

The patient went to an emergency department of a Florida hospital on May 9, was admitted on the same day and is currently in isolation and recovering.

"Given the dramatic increase in MERS cases in the Arabian Peninsula, we expected and are prepared for additional imported cases," Dr. Anne Schuchat, the assistant surgeon general and director of CDC's National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, said. "The reason for this increase in cases is not yet known, but public health investigations are ongoing, and we are pleased to have a team in Saudi Arabia supporting some of those efforts."