The MERS virus, why it's now affecting more patients in the U.S. - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

The MERS virus, why it's now affecting more patients in the U.S.

It's more lethal than the flu, but the first patient in the U.S. has recovered and been released...although now, there is a second case in Florida.  

The virus is called MERS, which stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. This time, a man traveling from Saudi Arabia learned his diagnosis in Orlando, Florida, but had not visited any of the theme parks there before going to the hospital.        

So far, in this emerging illness, there have been 538 confirmed cases worldwide, with 145 confirmed dead.  Public health experts say they expect more cases to show up in the U.S.

"Diseases are spreading all over the world, and we're all connected by the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the airplanes we ride ," says CDC Director, Dr. Tom Freiden.

There is no specific anti-viral treatment for MERS, but the CDC is encouraging health care workers in the U.S. to be watchful for MERS, and respond quickly.

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