2 Florida hospital workers test negative for MERS

Dr. Kevin Sherin, MD, right, the health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County speaks as Dr. Antonio Crespo, MD, left, the Chief Quality officer at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital listens, at a news conference to provide an update on the first MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome case in Fla., Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo)
Dr. Kevin Sherin, MD, right, the health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County speaks as Dr. Antonio Crespo, MD, left, the Chief Quality officer at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital listens, at a news conference to provide an update on the first MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome case in Fla., Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo)

ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — A spokeswoman for an Orlando hospital says two employees tested negative for the rare MERS virus days after coming into contact with a Saudi resident with the second confirmed case in the U.S.

Katie Dagenais said Wednesday that the two tested employees from Dr. P. Phillips Hospital include one who was hospitalized Monday. The other was discharged the same day.

Hospital officials are still awaiting test results from 18 health care workers from Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and Orlando Regional Medical Center who are being monitored for potentially having the virus.

MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, is a respiratory illness that begins with flu-like fever and cough but can lead to shortness of breath, pneumonia and death.

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