Via The Guardian, a few more details, including the US airline flight the patient took to Chicago: Health authorities ask passengers to contact NHS over Mers virus risk. Excerpt:
Health authorities in the UK have said that they have been contacting airline passengers who sat near a man who has been diagnosed as the first US case of a mysterious Middle East virus after travelling from Saudi Arabia, transiting in London on a British Airways flight.
Public Health England said that the risk of the infection being passed to other passengers was extremely low but asked any passengers who had been on the same flight last week from Riyadh to London to contact the NHS if they were experiencing respiratory symptoms or have felt unwell since their flight.
The man fell ill after arriving in the US a week ago from Saudi Arabia, where he is a health care worker, and is currently in hospital in Indiana with Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers-CoV), the United States Centre for Disease Control said on Friday night.
Saudi Arabia has been the centre of an outbreak of Mers that began about two years ago, infecting at least 400 people worldwide and killing more than 100. Mers belongs to the coronavirus family that includes the common cold and Sars, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which caused some 800 deaths globally in 2003.
The man was on British Airways flight 262 from Riyadh to London, and transferred on 24 April at Heathrow for an onward flight to the US, where he landed in Chicago before taking a bus to the neighbouring state of Indiana. He did not become ill until arriving in Indiana, according to US health authorities. Symptoms include fever, coughing and breathing problems, which can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.
Public Health England said that, as a precautionary measure, it has contacted UK passengers who were sitting in the vicinity of the man to provide health information. Any UK based passengers on flight 262 on 24 April who have since become unwell or experienced respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, were advised to contact NHS 111.
The body is also working to contact any UK passengers on the 24 April onward flight from London to Chicago, American Airlines flight 99.
The period between exposure and when symptoms might develop (the incubation period) for Mers-CoV is currently considered to be up to 14 days, according to Public Health England, which added that any illness that passengers might experience more than 14 days after the flight (i.e. starting on or after Friday 9 May), would not be considered to be related.
It added that there is presently no evidence of sustained person-to-person transmission of the virus and the risk of contracting infection in the UK remains very low.
Professor Nick Phin, head of Respiratory Diseases for Public Health England, said: "The risk is very low and human to human transmission of Mers-CoV is extremely rare, but we would ask any passengers from British Airways flight 262 on 24 April to contact NHS 111 if they're experiencing respiratory symptoms or have felt unwell since their flight."
The Mers virus has been found in camels, but officials don't know how it is spreading to humans. Health officials in Saudi Arabia have recently reported a surge in Mers illnesses; cases have tended to increase in the spring. Experts think the uptick may party be due to more and better surveillance. Researchers at Columbia University have an additional theory there may be more virus circulating in the spring, when camels are born.