MERS patient improving, Orlando hospital workers not infected, officials say

Nearly 2 dozen hospital staff members test negative for virus

By Michelle Dendy - Web Editor
Headline Goes Here National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

ORLANDO, Fla. - Health officials said on Thursday all of the Orlando hospital employees who came into contact with the man infected with MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, have tested negative for the virus and the patient is getting better.

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The man who was found to be infected with MERS left Saudi Arabia on April 30 and flew to London, then had connections in Boston and Atlanta before landing at the Orlando International Airport on May 1 to visit family.

Crespo said the man took flu medicine and an antibiotic he brought from Saudi Arabia until May 8, when he went to Dr. Phillips Hospital.

Officials said Thursday the man continues to improve and there is no broad risk of MERS for the general public, and no threat to those traveling to the Orlando area.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, a second confirmed case of MERS was reported on Thursday. The cases in the Netherlands involve two family members who had traveled together to Saudi Arabia.

MERS is a respiratory illness that begins with flu-like fever and cough but can lead to shortness of breath, pneumonia and death. A third of those who develop symptoms die from it.

The information line for the public at the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is 407-858-1490.  Information from the CDC for the public is available by calling 800-232-4636.

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