Florida MERS patient released, Illinois patient no longer infectious

By Kyle Johnson,

The Florida MERS patient, the second confirmed case in the United States, was discharged from the hospital on Monday, while health officials say the Illinois patient is no longer infectious.

The 44-year-old health care worker in Florida was released from the Dr. P. Phillips Hospital after officials said he tested negative for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and hadn't had a fever in over a week, reports WESH. He contracted the coronavirus after traveling to Saudi Arabia.

The third confirmed U.S. case, and a patient who barely felt any effects from MERS, in Illinois, was deemed to no longer be infectious, according to Reuters. "What this means is, although the resident was infected at one time, if he sneezes or coughs, the virus is not in his nose or mouth and therefore cannot be spread to others," said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, the Illinois Department of Public Health director.

As previously reported, the Illinois patient never really got sick as he only suffered what he thought was a cold or allergy. He is the first case in the United States to have not contracted the virus from a trip to the Arabian Peninsula.

He actually caught it after having two meetings with the first confirmed case, an Indiana man, before that person got sick. No one even knew he had MERS until a second blood sample discovered antibodies.

MERS, which is similar to SARS, has infected over 570 people since its discovery in 2012. The coronavirus causes flu-like symptoms, kidney failure, shortness of breath and can even develop into pneumonia.

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