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State Hotline for MERS Questions

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From Community Hospital in Munster: The first identified U.S. case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was diagnosed last week at Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana. The patient, who remains hospitalized in isolation, is in good condition and has shown improvement each day. Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) arrived at the hospital over the weekend and  are assisting with coordination. As of today, Sunday, May 4, no other cases of MERS have been identified in the U.S.
Staff members at the hospital who had direct contact with the patient prior to the patient being placed in full isolation were taken off duty and placed in temporary home isolation. Those individuals are being closely monitored for any signs or symptoms of the virus and will be allowed to return to work once the incubation period is over and they have confirmed negative laboratory results. Symptoms of MERS may take up to 14 days to occur. There have been no reported cases of people without symptoms transmitting this virus, and we continue with daily monitoring of the staff.
“We are pleased the patient is improving and no other cases have been identified at this time,” said Don Fesko, Community Hospital CEO. “The safety of our patients and staff remains our top priority, and we are following every recommendation provided by the CDC and Indiana State Department of Health.”
Indiana Governor Mike Pence is scheduled to join state health and hospital officials taking questions this morning during a briefing at Community Hospital.
More information:
For questions about MERS, call the Indiana State Department of Health hotline at 1-877-826-0011, which is being answered daily, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT. A voicemail system is available for callers to leave a message during off hours. All calls will be returned the following day.


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