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Officials: MERS Did Not Spread to Illinois Man

Associated Press
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Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages

Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages

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CHICAGO (AP) - Health officials are backtracking on an earlier report that a mysterious Middle East virus had apparently spread to an Illinois man from a traveler he’d met in a business meeting.

Additional testing has shown the virus didn’t spread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the revised diagnosis on Wednesday.

A doctor who traveled from Saudi Arabia to Indiana was identified as the first U.S. case of Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS. Officials tested people he met, and two preliminary tests detected antibodies against MERS in the Illinois man.

No other contacts tested positive.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck issued a statement Wednesday saying Illinois health officials “are relieved to learn the Illinois resident was never infected.”

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