U.S. MERS Patient To Be Isolated At Home After Discharge
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[May 07, 2014]
By Brendan O'Brien
(Reuters) - The first U.S. patient to test
positive for the often deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus
will remain isolated at home after he is released from an Indiana
hospital, officials said on Tuesday.
The patient will remain in isolation until the Indiana State
Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention determines he is no longer an infectious risk to the
public, the Community Hospital in Munster said in a statement.
The hospital is working on discharge plans for the patient, who
continues to improve and is expected to be released in the coming
days, the statement said.
The CDC confirmed on Friday that it had identified the first MERS
case in the country, raising new concerns about the global spread of
an illness with a high fatality rate and no known treatment.
The patient is a healthcare worker employed in Saudi Arabia, where
the virus was first detected in 2012, who had come to Indiana to
visit family. Saudi officials said the toll from a recent outbreak
was still rising, with 18 new cases in the capital city of Riyadh,
where the U.S. patient works.
Up to 50 hospital workers as well as family members and close
contacts of the patient who were monitored for signs of the virus
have tested negative for MERS.
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All of the Indiana hospital employees and the patient's family
members will be retested at the end of a 14-day incubation period
for final confirmation they are free from MERS.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Ken
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