Thanks to Greg Folkers for sending the link to this CDC statement, issued at 4:30 p.m. EDT this afternoon: HAN Archive - 00361|Health Alert Network (HAN). Excerpt:
The first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in the United States, identified in a traveler, was reported to CDC by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) on May 1, 2014, and confirmed by CDC on May 2. The patient is in a hospital in Indiana after having flown from Saudi Arabia to Chicago via London.
The purpose of this HAN is to alert clinicians, health officials, and others to increase their index of suspicion to consider MERS-CoV infection in travelers from the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring countries. Please disseminate this information to infectious disease specialists, intensive care physicians, primary care physicians, and infection preventionists, as well as to emergency departments and microbiology laboratories.
The first known cases of MERS-CoV occurred in Jordan in April 2012. The virus is associated with respiratory illness and high death rates, although mild and asymptomatic infections have been reported too. All reported cases to date have been linked to six countries in the Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and Kuwait. Cases in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Greece, Tunisia, Egypt, and Malaysia have also been reported in persons who traveled from the Arabian Peninsula.
In addition, there have been a small number of cases in persons who were in close contact with those infected travelers. Since mid-March 2014, there has been an increase in cases reported from Saudi Arabia and UAE. Public health investigations are ongoing to determine the reason for the increased cases. There is no vaccine yet available and no specific treatment recommended for the virus. In some cases, the virus has spread from infected people to others through close contact. However, there is currently no evidence of sustained spread of MERS-CoV in community settings. Additional information is available at (http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/index.html).
The rest of the alert consists of detailed recommendations for healthcare providers who may find themselves dealing with patients who are either recent arrivals from the Arabian Peninsula, close contacts of a symptomatic recent traveler, or close contacts of a confirmed case.