Wow, it is getting really interesting! The nation’s third reported case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus really demonstrates how little is known about the disease that first emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The latest case was first reported two days ago. Tests show that an Illinois man, who’d had two short business meetings with an infected Indiana man, had contracted the MERS-CoV virus.
The Illinois man, who remains unnamed, did not get sick and was not hospitalized. However, blood tests completed Friday showed he had been infected with the MERS virus. Technically this case can’t be counted as an official case of MERS because under WHO guidelines, only tests from an active infection count. In this case, antibodies in the man’s blood showed he had been infected and fought the infection off. The CDC has followed up with everyone the man has been in contact with and there are no signs of an active infection in any of those contacts.
MERS first showed up in Saudi Arabia in 2012. As of May 9, 536 confirmed cases of the disease have been reported worldwide, mostly in the Middle East, according to the World Health Organization. About 27% of those infected with the virus die, according to WHO.
USA MERS History
- #1 – An Indiana man who had been working in Saudi Arabia flew home and was admitted to a local hospital. Lab tests confirmed he had MERS. He has since fully recovered. (April 27)
- #2 – A Saudi Arabian health care worker who was traveling to the United States and fell ill in Orlando Florida on May 9 but has since recovered.
- #3 – This Illinois case.