Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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CDC ConfirmsThird Case of MERS Virus in the US

(Photo : Reuters / Business Insider)

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced that it has recorded the third case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS) in the United States.

Health officials speculate that the patient, an unnamed man from Illinois, had picked up the virus from the first confirmed case of MERS virus, an Indiana resident. The latter had just come back to the US after a trip from Saudi Arabia.

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He had been admitted to a hospital on April 28 and was confirmed to have been infected with the virus four days later.

The second case was reported to have been a healthcare worker from Florida, who had come from Saudi Arabia as well. This case though, has not been linked with the first one.

According to Xinhua news, the Illinois resident had met with the first victim at least twice before the latter had been tested and confirmed to have contracted the virus.

Health officials found out the third victim had been infected with the virus when laboratory test results came back after the CDC's investigation of the first confirmed case.

The lab test results did not indicate any active infections with the virus but further testing showed evidence that the man had antibodies against the MERS virus in his blood, with the possibility of having contracted the virus in the past.

"It's possible for a patient to test positive for the virus, but not get sick," Dr. David Swerdlow of the CDC said.

The Center said that the Illinois resident "did not seek or require medical care," but that he is "reported to be feeling well."

The MERS virus emerged in the Middle East in 2012. More specifically, it has been linked to Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The CDC said there have already been 572 confirmed cases of the MERS virus spread across 15 countries. As of May 16, deaths associated with the virus have been reported at 173.

Symptoms of the MERS virus are cough, fever and shortness of breath. These symptoms are reported to manifest five to fourteen days from the time of exposure. At present, there has been no known vaccine or treatment specifically designed for the virus.

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