1st American MERS patient released from hospital - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

1st American MERS patient released from hospital

Updated:
MUNSTER, Ind. -

The first American diagnosed with a mysterious virus from the Middle East has been released from a northwestern Indiana hospital.

Community Hospital in Munster says the patient was released Friday, is considered fully recovered and has been cleared to travel, if necessary.

"The patient has tested negative for MERS, is no longer symptomatic and poses no threat to the community," said Dr. Alan Kumar, chief medical information officer, Community Hospital in Munster. "Community Hospital finalized its discharge plan with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indiana State Department of Health, and the patient was discharged from the hospital. We are proud of our medical staff for recognizing and responding quickly to this incident, and we wish to thank the CDC and the ISDH for their assistance and collaboration."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the patient is an American man. He flew from Saudi Arabia to Chicago on April 24 and took a bus to Indiana. He sought treatment last Monday and was diagnosed with MERS.

"This case of MERS in Indiana vividly demonstrates the critical role of public health in the community," said Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. William C. VanNess II, M.D. "I'm especially proud of our staff at the Indiana State Department of Health, including our epidemiologists, and our public affairs and State Laboratory teams for working around the clock to confirm this disease, track it, and communicate with Hoosiers and the world about the situation as it has progressed."

MERS belongs to the coronavirus family that also includes the common cold and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.

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