Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About 30% of these people died. So far, all the cases have been linked to six countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula.
CDC continues to closely monitor the MERS-CoV situation globally and work with partners to better understand the risks of this virus, including the source, how it spreads, and how infections might be prevented. The risk to the general public is extremely low. For the most current information about MERS Co-V, please visit the CDC website.
May 12, 2014: On May 11, 2014, a second U.S. imported case of MERS was confirmed in a traveler who also came to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia. This patient is currently hospitalized and doing well. People who had close contact with this patient are being contacted. The two U.S. cases are not linked.
CDC and other public health partners continue to investigate and respond to the changing situation to prevent the spread of MERS-CoV in the U.S. These two cases of MERS imported to the U.S. represent a very low risk to the general public in this country.
May 2, 2014: The first U.S. case of MERS-CoV was reported by the CDC on May 2, 2014, involving a man in Indiana who had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia. The CDC says the virus has spread from ill people to others through close contact but has not shown to spread "in a sustained way in communities." The risk to the general public is low.