ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Health officials have confirmed another case of the deadly MERS virus in the United States, this time in Florida.
Earlier this month, the first U.S. case was detected in Indiana.
MERS was first discovered in the Middle East in 2012, and has currently killed about a third of all those infected.
“The treatment for these patients is symptomatic and physiologic,” says infectious diseases specialist Dr. William Schaffner. “We take care of them, we watch their breathing, we may assist their breathing, we watch their urine. At the moment, there is no specific anti-viral drug that we have available to treat these patients.”
The virus transmits from human to human just as any other cold or flu. It can be airborne, but also found on surfaces such as a doorknob or a keyboard.
Dr. Nirav Patel at St. Louis University Hospital, another local infectious diseases specialist, says for the U.S. it is a fairly low risk, but the best defense remains in good hand hygiene.
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