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Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

The CDC reports that a second imported case of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was confirmed on May 11 in a traveler to the United States. The patient is a healthcare worker who resides and works in Saudi Arabia. So far, reported cases have been linked to countries in the Arabian Peninsula. One case was in Indiana and the second was in Florida; the cases were not linked. There have been no cases in New York State.

MERS is a viral respiratory illness spread from person to person through close contact. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. There is currently no evidence of sustained spread of MERS in community settings. The CDC reports that the risk to the U.S. general population from MERS still remains very low.

The Tompkins County Health Department is monitoring reports of the incidence of MERS in the United States and the Arabian Peninsula.

For more information go to:
  • CDC Fact page with link to FAQ
  • CDC Press Release, May 12, 2014

Updated: May 2014