World

CDC Says Ill. Mers Patient Misdiagnosed

The patient thought to be the third case of the virus in the U.S., and the first to have contracted it here, wasn't actually infected after all.

CDC Says Ill. Mers Patient Misdiagnosed
WMAQ
SMS

It turns out the third man who tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, was misdiagnosed.

"The CDC says that an Indiana MERS patient did not spread that virus to an Illinois business associate. Now, initially there was testing that showed the man did test positive for MERS-CoV antibodies." (Via WMAQ)

After more testing, health officials now say the man never had MERS in the first place, but he did come into contact with the United States' first MERS patient, a doctor from Indiana, who had just come back from Saudi Arabia.

The doctor began experiencing typical symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath before testing positive for the virus. Once he did, the CDC says the doctor's close contacts were also tested, including the man from Illinois. (Via CDC)

"The two met twice. The Indiana patient was hospitalized and has now recovered. The Illinois man did not require medical care." (Via WLS-TV

‚ÄčThe misdiagnosis means the Indiana doctor and a Saudi Arabian health care worker visiting family in Florida are still the only two confirmed cases of MERS in the U.S. (Via WFTV)

ABC's chief medical and health editor says this is good news for those worrying about the contagiousness of the virus.

"It was concerning that this man supposedly got infected through minimal contact – a couple of meetings and a handshake. ... We’re back to a situation where those who have been infected have either been health care workers caring for MERS patients or close contacts, often family members." (Via ABC)

Though MERS might not be as contagious as feared, CBS explains why it's still creating a stir around the world.

"There have been 400 cases since 2012, 320 of them in Saudi Arabia. The problem is the death rate is 94 of those 320 cases because there's no cure and there's no treatment for this disease yet." (Via CBS)

The two MERS patients from the United States have both been released from the hospital after undergoing treatment.