MERS patient released from Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana


May 14, 2014 4:27:42 AM PDT
A man who was treated with the nation's first confirmed case of MERS has been released from Community Hospital in Munster, Ind.

Health officials said Friday that the patient is considered fully recovered. He has been cleared to leave isolation and may travel, if necessary.

"The patient has tested negative for MERS, is no longer symptomatic and poses no threat to the community," said Dr. Alan Kumar, chief medical information officer, Community Hospital in Munster.

Federal and state health officials held a press conference on the patient's condition on Monday, stating he was in good condition and is improving every day. So far, everyone who has come in contact with him has tested negative for MERS. The Centers for Disease Control confirmed it as the first case of MERS in the United States on Friday.

The patient began showing respiratory symptoms and was brought to the hospital April 28.

MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. It is in the same group of viruses as SARS and the common cold, but 30% of those who have gotten MERS died. The first cases of MERS appeared in the Arabian Peninsula in 2012.

The patient is a health care provider who works at a hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He tells the CDC that while there had been MERS cases at the hospital where he worked, he did not treat any of them personally. He is expected to eventually return to Saudi Arabia.

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