The individual who was being treated for Middle East respiratory syndrome was discharged May 9 from Community Hospital in Munster, Ind., according to a news release. The patient is considered to be fully recovered and has been cleared by health officials to come off of isolation and may travel, if necessary.
The patient has tested negative for MERS, is no longer symptomatic and poses no threat to the community, Alan Kumar, MD, chief medical information officer for Community Hospital, said in the release.
Multiple tests done at different times by the Indiana State Laboratory and CDC were negative for the presence of ongoing MERS infection in the patient. On April 24, the patient traveled from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to London then to Chicago by air, and traveled by bus to the Highland, Ind., area. The CDC and state health departments have contacted the vast majority of passengers on the flights and the bus; they are asymptomatic. There has been no evidence of community-level transmission of this virus, such as from casual contact, according to the release.
As a precautionary measure, employees who had direct contact with the patient remain off duty in temporary home isolation and are being closely monitored for symptoms. After the employees incubation period ends, employees will be undergoing tests to confirm a negative result for MERS.
Meanwhile, at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando, Fla., all of the healthcare workers who came into contact with a patient with MERS have tested negative for the virus, state health officials said May 15.
The Florida Department of Health said in a statement the patient is improving but remains hospitalized at the facility.
We want to assure the public that MERS-CoV in Florida is contained, and there is no broad threat to the general public, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health John Armstrong, MD, said in a May 14 statement.
Similarly to the Indiana MERS patient, the Florida patient recently was in Saudi Arabia, where infection rates have surged in the past several weeks.
Review MERS guidelines for healthcare professionals at www.CDC.gov.
For information about cases and deaths by country, visit the World Health Organizations website at www.who.int/csr/disease/coronavirus_infections/en.
For more information on the CDCs travel notice, healthcare provider guidelines and updates, visit www.cdc.gov/features/novelcoronavirus.