MERS patient improves at Munster hospital; no new cases reported
By Teresa Auch Schultz Sun-Times Media May 4, 2014 10:44PM
Updated: May 4, 2014 11:16PM
A patient with the first confirmed U.S. case of a deadly new respiratory illness continues to improve at Community Hospital in Munster, according to the hospital and the Indiana State Department of Health.
No new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus have been identified, according to the hospital.
State and federal officials, including Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, are scheduled to provide more updates at a news conference Monday morning.
The hospital and state confirmed Friday that the patient, who is reported to have recently traveled to Saudi Arabia, was the first confirmed case of the disease in the country.
Until then, most cases of MERS, which was first identified in 2012, had been in the Middle East. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say people with the disease have a fever, cough and shortness of breath. MERS has killed about 30 percent of the patients who have had it, according to the CDC.
A release from the hospital said CDC officials arrived at there during the weekend to help.
All hospital staffers who came into direct contact with the patient have been ordered to stay home for two weeks, which is the incubation period for the virus, but none have shown any signs of the disease.
CEO Don Fesko said the hospital is working with the state health department and the CDC and following their recommendations.
“We are pleased the patient is improving and no other cases have been identified at this time,” Fesko said in a news release.