TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The potentially deadly MERS virus did not spread from two patients in the United States to any people in their homes or to health care workers who treated them, federal health officials said Tuesday.
The cases of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) in Indiana and in Florida involved patients who worked as health care providers in Saudi Arabia, the epicenter of the MERS outbreak. It's believed that's where they were infected, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. These are the only two known cases of MERS documented in the United States.
The two cases were confirmed by the CDC in May. As part of its investigation, the agency collected samples from people who lived in the patients' homes, as well as the health care workers who had close contact with them. None of them has tested positive for current or previous infection with MERS, the CDC said.
In the meantime, MERS cases continue to mount in the Middle East and elsewhere. According to the latest update released by the World Health Organization on June 16, there were 701 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS reported globally, including at least 249 deaths.