The Doctor Is In: Do people in the Tri-State need to worry about MERS?

CINCINNATI - An Illinois man probably picked up Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) from an Indiana man who earlier this month became the first U.S. case of the disease. The Illinois man, however, never needed medical treatment and is reported to be feeling well, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The two met twice before the Indiana man fell ill and was hospitalized in Munster, Ind., shortly after traveling from Saudi Arabia, where he lived and was employed as a health care worker. Health officials say they think the virus spread during a 40-minute business meeting that involved no more contact than a handshake.

"We don't think this changes the risk to the general public," which remains low, said Dr. David Swerdlow of the CDC.
 
Dr. Steven J. Englender, director of the Cincinnati Health Department Center for Public Health Preparedness agrees.
  • Watch Dr. Englender explain who may be at risk for MERS in the video player above 

Symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing
  • cough
  • fever
  • shortness of breath.

Treatment:

  • Oxygen and help breathing. In severe cases, individuals may need to be on respirators.
  • There is no specific drug or vaccine, at this point

(Video by Mark Bowen)

Editor's note: "Ask the Nurse" alternates weekly with "The Doctor Is In." Do you have a question for a local health care professional? Email holly.edgell@wcpo.com.

Connect with WCPO contributor Mark Bowen on Twitter: @markbowenmedia.

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