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Tests show no person-to-person Mers transmission in US

Published on May 29, 2014 7:05 AM
An Indian worker wears a mouth and nose mask next to camels as he works at his Saudi employer's farm on May 12, 2014 outside Riyadh. _ PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Tests have shown that a US man suffering from the Middle East Respiratory virus, Mers, did not spread it to another person as first reported, health authorities said on Wednesday.

That means only two US cases of Mers have been documented so far, not three. Both patients were healthcare workers who became ill while working in Saudi Arabia, and both have recovered.

Further lab tests showed that the Illinois man who was reported to have caught Mers after meeting in May with an Indiana man who had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia actually did not have the virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

"After completing additional and more definitive laboratory tests, CDC officials have concluded that an Indiana Mers patient did not spread the virus to an Illinois associate during a business meeting they had before the patient became ill and was hospitalized," said a CDC statement.

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