The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

May 7, 2014

Where did virus come from?

NEW YORK — Health officials breathed a sigh of relief Monday that the first U.S. case of a mysterious viral illness has not spread. An investigation continues into how the patient became infected and where the MERS virus came from.

WHAT IS MERS?

MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. It is a respiratory illness that begins with flu-like fever and cough but can lead to shortness of breath, pneumonia and death. Experts have been concerned about it partly because it is caused by a virus that comes from the same family as a bug that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. SARS is a terrifying infectious illness that emerged in Asia in 2003 and caused more than 8,000 cases and nearly 800 deaths before waning.

WHERE DOES MERS COME FROM?

The first cases were identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. Since then, as many as 400 or more cases of the illness have been reported, including more than 100 deaths. All reported cases to date have been linked to the Arabian peninsula — they either occurred there, or were diagnosed in people who traveled from there. Last week, health officials announced that a man who had traveled from Saudi Arabia became sick in Indiana; he was the first case seen in the United States. Some scientists think the virus that causes MERS first spread to humans from camels, but research is ongoing to confirm its origins.

HOW DANGEROUS IS IT?

Not everyone who is infected with the MERS virus gets sick. But of those that do, nearly a third die, health officials estimate. That makes it much more deadly than more conventional infectious diseases such as the flu. There is no cure or vaccine for MERS. However, most deaths have been people already weakened by other health conditions. The U.S. patient has been improving and is expected to go home soon, health officials said Monday.

Text Only
National News
  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 23, 2014

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obamacare hit by ruling, but subsidies to continue

    A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 22, 2014

  • Obama gives protection to gay, transgender workers WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday gave employment protection to gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies, after being convinced by advocates of what he called the “irrefutable rightness of yo

    July 22, 2014

  • Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds

    A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hopkins to pay $190M after doc taped pelvic exams

    Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to more than 8,000 women whose bodies may have been videotaped or photographed by a gynecologist using a pen-like camera during pelvic exams.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lawmaker: Texas to send 1,000 guardsmen to border

    Gov. Rick Perry, a vocal critic of the White House's response to the surge of children and families entering the U.S. illegally, plans to deploy as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border, a local lawmaker confirmed Monday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Sparring justices find little disagreement at the opera

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed a different view of U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday when she described about her passion for opera, one she shares with Justice Antonin Scalia.

    July 21, 2014

  • Second chance? Perry in Iowa again courting voters

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry is visiting Iowa for the fourth time in eight months, hoping for a second chance to win over Republican voters who delivered him a stinging caucus loss when he ran for president two years ago.

    July 21, 2014

AP Video
Facebook