MERS Virus Hits Illinois Man, Third U.S. Case of Deadly Illness

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials say an Illinois man has apparently picked up an infection from the only American diagnosed with the mysterious Middle East respiratory syndrome virus, but the man has not needed medical treatment.

This file photo provided by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a colorized transmission of the MERS coronavirus that emerged in 2012. (Image source: AP/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases via The Canadian Press, File)

The first U.S. case of  MERS was confirmed earlier this month in Indiana, where a man fell ill shortly after arriving from Saudi Arabia where he lived. A second U.S. case was confirmed last week in a man from Saudi Arabia who was visiting Florida.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday that tests completed Friday show the Illinois man probably was infected with the virus after having close contact twice with the MERS patient in Indiana.

Since MERS was discovered two years ago in Saudi Arabia, at least 400 people have had the respiratory illness, and more than 100 have died. All had ties to the Middle East region or to people who traveled there.