1st US MERS patient could leave hospital soon

FILE - This file photo provided by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a colorized transmission of the MERS coronavirus that emerged in 2012. (AP Photo/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases via The Canadian Press, File)
FILE - This file photo provided by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a colorized transmission of the MERS coronavirus that emerged in 2012. (AP Photo/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases via The Canadian Press, File)

MUNSTER, Indiana (AP) — Health officials say they expect the first American infected with a mysterious virus from the Middle East to be released soon from an Indiana hospital.

The man has been hospitalized at a Munster hospital since April 28. Officials say he fell ill with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, after flying to the U.S. last month from Saudi Arabia, where he was a health care worker.

Indiana State Department of Health Commissioner William VanNess II said Monday that no health workers or family members who’ve had contact with the patient have tested positive for the virus.

At least 400 cases of the respiratory illness have been reported in the past two years, and more than 100 people have died. Officials say it isn’t highly contagious, but there is no cure.

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