Press Release
 May 5, 2014
Melaney Arnold (217) 558-0500
Sheila Porter (312) 814-3524

First MERS Patient in U.S. History Recovering Well in Indiana Hospital

CHICAGO – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials in Indiana announced today that the Indiana patient diagnosed with the first U.S. reported case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) remains hospitalized and the patient’s condition continues to improve.

Staff members at the hospital who had direct contact with the patient prior to the patient being placed in full isolation were taken off duty and placed in temporary home isolation. Those individuals are being closely monitored for any signs or symptoms of the virus and will be allowed to return to work once the incubation period is over and they have confirmed negative laboratory results. Symptoms of MERS may take up to 14 days to occur.

Presently, no other cases of MERS have been identified in the U.S.

“We want to reassure residents that we will continue to work closely with the CDC, Indiana public health officials and our local health departments throughout this process to protect the public’s health,” said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.

The patient traveled from London to Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Thursday, April 24, 2014 and then took a bus to Indiana.

As a reminder the, 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 MERS-CoV, including Frequently Asked Questions, go to

idph online home
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