I was away from my computer for much of this evening, so I missed posting this CIDRAP report by Lisa Schnirring: Florida health workers have symptoms after MERS patient contact. Excerpt:
Florida health officials are monitoring two health workers who came down with flulike symptoms after unprotected contact with the second imported US Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) patient when he first sought care.
In addition, amid a flurry of activity with the US infections and cases still rising in Saudi Arabia, with four more reported today, the World Health Organization (WHO) emergency committee on MERS met. The group will announce tomorrow if the latest developments warrant a public health emergency of international concern.
At a media telebriefing at the Orlando hospital where the MERS patient and one of the health workers are being treated in isolation, health officials also said they are monitoring roughly 100 local people who may have been exposed to the virus. Those being monitored include employees at another Orlando hospital the patient visited while accompanying someone who underwent a medical procedure.
Though MERS-CoV does not appear to pass easily from person to person in the community, the risk of transmission is much greater in close contact situations, such as when family members or healthcare workers are caring for sick patients. Also, experts have said hospital transmission is magnifying a surge in infections in Saudi Arabia, with mystery still swirling around how the virus is spreading in the facilities.
Both of the imported US cases are in health workers who live in Saudi Arabia and are employed by hospitals, one in Jeddah and the other in Riyadh.