May 13, 2014 10:58 PM by Lisa Lyden

New Airport Alerts; MERS Virus

More fears tonight over the potentially deadly Middle Eastern respiratory virus, or MERS.
There are now two confirmed cases now in the U.S.

A patient in Indiana was hospitalized for 12 days and has now been released.
A second, a Saudi Resident, who was visiting family and remains hospitalized in Orlando, Florida.
Health workers, at two Orlando hospitals, who came in contact with that patient, are now being tested. Two have reportedly fallen ill, but Doctors aren't sure yet if it's MERS

Today, a health advisory went up at all major U.S. Airports, alerting travelers to the Middle East and trying to prevent it's spread.

Health Officials say it originated in the Middle East, where it jumped from Bats, to Camels and now to Humans.

At the White house today, a response to concerns about the virus, now in the United States.
Press Secretary Jay Carney says, "The President has been briefed on this development. The CDC is taking the current situation very seriously and is working in close coordination with local health authorities."
Carney went on to say, "Our team is watching it very closely."

Meantime, in Saudi Arabia, health authorities reported another 5 deaths from the virus Tuesday, with hundreds more reported to be sick.
All total, 152 people in Saudi Arabia have now died, since it was discovered in 2012.

MERS is part of the coronavirus family of viruses, which includes the common cold and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which killed some 800 people in a global outbreak in 2003. MERS can cause symptoms including fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.



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