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HoundDog reported on the MERS virus on Monday April 28, 2014 with details on the virus and its spread in Saudi Arabia and other countries.

 Today I just got a prompt from senior health writer Maggie Fox @ NBC news reporting that the MERS virus has come to our shores.

The United States has reported its first case of a new virus found in the Middle East, in a traveler from the region, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus has been spreading in Saudi Arabia and other countries.

 The World Health Organization has expressed alarm about the increase in reports of MERS.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases reports that these first imported case of MERS virus poses only a low risk to the general public:  
"We don't have a sense right now that this is very easy to spread," Schuchat told reporters on a conference call.
According to the CDC the disease was spread from an infected patient; a healthcare worker who traveled from Saudi Arabia to Indiana:
“On April 24, the patient traveled by plane from Saudi Arabia to London, then from London to Chicago,” the CDC said. “The patient then took a bus from Chicago to Indiana. On the 27th, the patient began to experience signs of illness, including shortness of breath and coughing. The patient went to an emergency department on April 28th. Because of the patient’s symptoms and travel history, Indiana public health officials had him tested for MERS.”
Identifying an infected patient can be tricky:
"It is not always possible to identify patients with MERS early because some have mild  or unusual symptoms"
The virus can survive on surfaces and may be spread by touch:
The virus can survive on surfaces, and might spread when people touch something contaminated. SARS appears to have spread that way, and many other viruses do, too.
So while The virus may pose a relatively low risk to the general public it is quite serious:
While MERS kills about a third of the patients who show symptoms, some people have been found later to have been infected but they never got sick. Most of those who have been severely ill have been elderly or had other illnesses such as diabetes or kidney disease.
With some precautions & more information from WHO.

So just a quick report.

Be careful out there and good to yourself & others :)

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