The first U.S. case of a respiratory virus that has caused deadly outbreaks in the Middle East is a man who traveled through O’Hare International Airport on his way to Indiana, but officials said the man was in good condition and the risk of others being infected was small.
The man, who was not identified, was being treated for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at Community Hospital in Munster, which said in a statement it is “maintaining appropriate isolation protocols for the protection of health care staff.”
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“Community Hospital has been working cooperatively with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent and the Indiana State Department of Health regarding tracking of patient family members and monitoring of exposed health care workers,” it added. “This patient was not out in the local community and, therefore, any public exposure was minimal.”
The man is a health care worker who had been in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He flew to London, then grabbed a flight to O’Hare on April 24 and took a bus to Indiana, according to the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The man began to experience increasing respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing, and fever three days later, according to the Indiana health department. He went to the emergency room at Community Hospital on the evening of April 28 was was admitted.