The man hospitalized in Indiana with the first U.S. case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is improving and could be released from the hospital soon.
Indiana State Department of Health Commissioner William VanNess II, Governor Mike Pence, and CDC and hospital officials updated the media on Monday, saying none of the more than 50 health-care workers and family members who’ve had contact with the patient have tested positive for the virus. MERS-CoV has an incubation period of up to 14 days.
The infected patient had traveled by plane from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Chicago, Illinois on April 24, 2014. He then traveled by bus from Chicago to Indiana. Several days later, he began to experience respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing, and fever. He went to the emergency department on April 28th and was admitted on that same day.
Health officials have reportedly contacted a large number of the passengers who traveled on the same flight or bus as the infected patient and none has reported symptoms of the coronavirus.
At least 400 cases of MERS have been reported in the past two years, and more than 100 people have died.
“In this interconnected world we live in, we expected MERS to make its way to the United States,” Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said during press conference Friday. “We have been preparing since 2012 for this possibility.”