Via the Chicago Tribune: First U.S. case of MERS tied to Chicago, Indiana. Click through for a video news clip. Excerpt:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday they have confirmed the first U.S. case of a respiratory virus that has caused deadly outbreaks in the Middle East: A man who traveled through Chicago on his way to Indiana.
The unidentified man fell ill from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, after arriving in the United States about a week ago from Saudi Arabia, where he is a health care worker.
The man was on a flight on April 24 from London to O’Hare International Airport, then took a bus to Indiana, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, which said health officials "do not consider passengers on the flight or bus to be close contacts of the patient and therefore are not at high risk.”
As a precaution, the CDC will contact the plane and bus passengers beginning Saturday.
The CDC briefers seemed to take pains not to identify the patient as male or female, but news reports this afternoon are confident he's a male.
I keep reflecting on the size of the airports this person travelled through, and the numbers of people he must have been in contact with: passengers, air crew, airport staff, transportation workers. The CDC is going to have a busy Saturday contacting people.