Hospital Workers Test Negative For MERS

Tuesday, May 20, 2014  |  Updated 3:57 PM EDT
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Hospital Workers Test Negative for MERS

AP

There was good news Tuesday on the fight to keep MERS from gaining a foothold in the United States.

According to Orlando Health, all follow-up tests on workers who were exposed to the MERS virus have come back negative.

Seven workers, including one doctor, from Orlando Regional Medical Center were tested after a patient who had just returned from the Middle East tested positive for MERS. The disease, caused by a coronavirus, began in Saudi Arabia.

Orlando Health said testing on 16 health care workers, including two physicians, who also came in contact with the patient at Dr. Phillips Hospital also came back negative for MERS. Orlando Health required all 23 workers that were exposed to stay out of work for the 14-day incubation period.

The patient who came to Orlando with the virus was discharged from the hospital Monday. The 44-year-old Saudi Arabian man was only the second confirmed case of MERS virus to be diagnosed in the United States.

MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and it’s caused by the same type of virus that causes SARS. The disease first appeared in 2012 and since then 571 cases have been reported and 171 deaths have been attributed to MERS.

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