Chicago, IL, United States (4E) – An Illinois man was infected by the first U.S. man who contracted the incurable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) making him the third case of infection by the virus in the country, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Saturday.
The Illinois man, who was not identified, met with the Indiana man face to face for 40 minutes on April 25 and briefly on April 26 before experiencing symptoms of MERS-CoV infection, according to Dr. David Swerdlow, who is in charge of the response to the virus.
As U.S. health officials track people who came in close contact with the Indiana man, the Illinois man admitted suffering only mild cold-like symptoms and did not seek or require medical care. The second of two tests on the Illinois man found MERS-CoV antibodies in him indicating infection, though the CDC said he is no longer sick.
Symptoms of MERS-CoV infection include fever, cough and diarrhea. The infection can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure. There is no vaccine or special treatment, and it can be fatal in up to one-third of cases, Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general for the U.S. Public Health Service, said.
The first American infected with MERS-CoV is a healthcare worker in Saudi Arabia, where the virus is believed to have originated and spread. On April 24, the man traveled from Riyadh to London, then to Chicago, and took a bus to Indiana. He experienced shortness of breath, coughing, and fever on April 27 and was admitted to the Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana, on April 28. He also recovered from the infection.