SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018

Florida MERS patient released from hospital

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced on Tuesday that the first patient in the state diagnosed with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was released from the hospital.

The man tested negative for MERS-CoV at the Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orange County. All healthcare workers and members of the patient's household who came into contact with him also tested negative for the disease.

DOH said there is no broad risk of MERS-CoV infection to the general public or those traveling to the area, although it continues to work with the Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and the CDC in conducting surveillance and contact testing under standard protocols.

The healthcare worker from Saudi Arabia was the second confirmed case of MERS-CoV in the U.S. Another man in Indiana was confirmed to have the virus and had also recently traveled to the Middle East.

Most cases of MERS-CoV are characterized by an acute respiratory illness with a cough, fever or shortness of breath. More than 450 cases of the disease were confirmed in Saudi Arabia as of May of this year. Approximately 30 percent of those who were confirmed to have the disease died.

Other cases of MERS have been confirmed in seven other countries outside of the Middle East, including France, Germany and the U.K.