(USA TODAY) -- The second imported case of the deadly MERS respiratory virus in the United States was confirmed in Orange County, Florida, Monday and involves a health care provider from Saudi Arabia who arrived in the United States on May 1, the the Centers for Disease Control announced Monday.
The patient, who lives and works in Saudi Arabia, traveled from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to London then on to Boston, and finally to Orlando, Florida. CDC director Tom Frieden said the patient entered the hospital on May 8.
He said Florida health officials initially determined that the virus was MERS and the the CDC confirmed the finding Sunday night. The CDC says the virus likely came from an animal source. In addition to humans, MERS-CoV has been found in camels in Qatar and a bat in Saudi Arabia
MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. News of the latest case first broke on Twitter. Since April 2012, countries with MERS-confirmed cases include France, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.
The first case, discovered in Indiana on May 2, involved a male health care worker who was living and working in Saudi Arabia, which has recorded most of the case of MERS. The CDC said the two cases were not related.
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The unidentified Indiana patient was quickly quarantined. He was released from the hospital last week after no longer showing signs of the virus, according to Dr. Alan Kumar, chief medical information officer, Community Hospital in Munster, Ind.
MERS belongs to the coronavirus family that includes the common cold and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which caused more than 800 deaths globally in 2003.
Overall the CDC says about 400 people have been identified as coming down with the MERS virus, though there are differing reports about whether all those cases have been confirmed as MERS. More than 100 have died.
No vaccine exists for the disease. Treatment consists of standard supportive care for a respiratory illness. Officials said people worried about MERS should wash their hands regularly, wipe down potentially infected surfaces with anti-bacterial agents and avoid others who are sick.
Since April 2012, countries with MERS-confirmed cases include France, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.
The CDC says the virus likely came from an animal source. In addition to humans, MERS-CoV has been found in camels in Qatar and a bat in Saudi Arabia.