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(Orlando case) MERS Search: Disease Detectives Beat Bushes for Virus

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  • (Orlando case) MERS Search: Disease Detectives Beat Bushes for Virus


    MERS Search: Disease Detectives Beat Bushes for Virus
    By Maggie Fox

    Disease detectives are going through the painstaking task of tracking down people who conceivably could have been infected by a health care worker who came down with the mysterious MERS virus while traveling from Saudi Arabia to the United States.

    The 44-year-old man, who is not being identified, is the second known case of MERS in the United States. Health officials say they are looking up everyone who traveled with the passenger on four separate flights, as well as family members and everyone he may have been in close contact with in the U.S.

    Is it worthwhile? It probably won't turn up any cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. But it?s the best way to be sure the virus doesn?t spread quietly, and the agency has to do it...

    ...It?s going to be a big job. ?On May 1 this person departed Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and traveled by airplane to London, England,? Schuchat said.

    He flew from London to Boston, then to Atlanta, and finally to Orlando. That?s a lot of flights, and even though the CDC only checks people who may have sat close to the patient for a long time, it?s still hundreds of people.

    "We're dealing with over 500 passengers just on the last three flights," says Dr. Marty Cetron of CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine. The flights were full, he said...