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MERS Hotline Closed, Munster Patient Released

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The Indiana State Department of Health has closed the MERS hotline, as calls have slowed down significantly. The individual who was being treated for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was released from Community Hospital in Munster Friday, health officials say. The patient is considered to be fully recovered and has been cleared by health officials to come off of isolation and may travel, if necessary. Chief Medical Information Officer for the hospital Dr. Alan Kumar says, “The patient has tested negative for MERS, is no longer symptomatic and poses no threat to the community".  On April 24, the patient traveled from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to London then to Chicago by air, arrived at O'Hare Airport and traveled by bus to the Highland, Indiana area. The CDC and state health departments have contacted the vast majority of passengers on the flights and the bus; none of them are symptomatic. There has been no evidence of community-level transmission of this virus, such as from casual contact, according to health officials.

Hospital staff who had direct contact with the patient continue to remain off-duty and in temporary home isolation and are being closely monitored for symptoms. These staff members will be allowed to return to work following the incubation period and confirmed negative laboratory results.
“This case of MERS in Indiana vividly demonstrates the critical role of public health in the community,” said Indiana State Health Commission Dr. William VanNess. “I’m especially proud of our staff at the Indiana State Department of Health, including our epidemiologists, and our public affairs and State Laboratory teams for working around the clock to confirm this disease, track it, and communicate with Hoosiers and the world about the situation as it has progressed.”
For more information about MERS:

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome:
http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/index.html
About Coronavirus:
http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/about/index.html
Frequently Asked MERS Questions and Answers:
http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/faq.html
Indiana State Department of Health
www.StateHealth.in.gov 


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