Ten days after the first Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was confirmed in the United States in an Indiana man, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Florida Department of Health announced the second imported confirmed case in an individual who resides and works in Saudi Arabia.
During a CDC media advisory today, CDC director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Surgeon General Anne Schuchat, M.D. (RADM, USPHS) and Florida’s State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, John H. Armstrong, MD made the announcement and fielded questions.
Dr. Frieden started the conference calling the new MERS case “unwelcome but not unexpected”. The patient is a health care provider working in Saudi Arabia. On May 1, the patient traveled from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Orlando, Fl, with stops in London, Boston and Atlanta.
On May 8, the patient went to a Florida hospital emergency department and was later admitted. Frieden said the patient is in isolation and “doing well”.
Dr. Frieden said the risk to the public is generally low. The virus is behaving like the SARS coronavirus where it requires close contact to transmit. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.
The Indiana MERS strain has been sequenced and is probably not changing, according to Dr. Frieden.
Dr. Schuchat noted the imported Florida case is not linked to the first imported case in Indiana.
Dr. Armstromg said detailed information concerning the patient and the specific hospital would be released later.
The CDC notes that to date, there has been 538 lab confirmed cases of MERS-CoV globally, with 145 deaths.