Man with MERS Virus Passes Through Illinois

The first case of the Middle East respiratory Syndrome called MERS has turned up in the U.S.

A man somehow contracted the virus in Saudi Arabia, before he traveled to the states and stopping in Chicago. He took a bus from Chicago to Indiana. In Indiana is where he started having respiratory issues.

Since the news broke, people who think they might have been in contact with him have been calling the Illinois poison hotline.
"You know when it's an outbreak people start thinking their throat is scratching a little, or they didn't have that cough they had when they were traveling through O'Hare at the time. . . I think there's a worried well," said  Dr. Lamar Hasbrouck, the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Dr. Hasbrouck said, local health care physicians are reassuring people that they are on top of the virus.

"The risk is pretty minimum to begin with," he added. "We've been kind of watching it for at least two years, so we've been able to interim build lab capacity and we have the capacity here in Illinois to diagnose it."

So far, no one but the patient has shown symptoms of MERS.

The patient is isolated at an Indiana hospital and his health is improving.
If you were traveling in Chicago or Indiana and you think you may have come in contact with the patient, call the Illinois Poison Center's hotline at (844) 565-0256.
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