Health Officials Reassure Illinoisans after First Case of a Serious
Virus is Identified in the U.S.
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[May 05, 2014]
CHICAGO – The U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced the first case of
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the U.S.
The patient was on a flight last Thursday, April 24, 2014 from
London to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and then took a bus
“We will continue to work with the CDC and the
Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) concerning the MERS-CoV
patient who traveled from London to Chicago and then to Indiana,”
said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar
“The CDC, IDPH and CDPH do not consider passengers on the flight or
bus to be close contacts of the patient and therefore are not at
As a precautionary measure, the CDC will contact the plane and bus
passengers beginning Saturday, May 3. If the CDC identifies ill
individuals with possible MERS-CoV, it will notify CDPH and IDPH.
“There is no reason to suspect any current risk to travelers or
employees at O'Hare Airport at this time,” said CDPH Commissioner
Bechara Choucair. “We will continue to work closely with the CDC and
IDPH to protect the public's health.”
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IDPH has activated the expert medical staff at Illinois
Poison Center to operate the MERS-CoV hotline. Illinois
residents and medical professionals who have concerns or
questions should call 1-844 565-0256. For more information about
Frequently Asked Questions, go to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/MERS/.
[Text received from ILLINOIS
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH]