May 16, 2014 9:41 am

U.S. health workers test negative for MERS after exposure to disease

This undated file electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows novel coronavirus particles, also known as the MERS virus, colourized in yellow.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID - RML

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health says all health care workers who came into contact with a Saudi resident infected with the second confirmed MERS case in the U.S. have tested negative for the rare virus.

Officials said in a statement Thursday that they are working closely with Orlando’s Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure appropriate care for the 44-year-old man. He remains hospitalized, but is improving.

FDH says there is no broad risk of MERS infection for the general public.

The patient with whom the workers came into contact arrived at Phillips on May 8. Three days earlier, the patient had visited Orlando Regional Medical Center.

MERS is a respiratory illness that begins with flu-like symptoms, but can lead to shortness of breath, pneumonia and death.

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