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Second US Case of Deadly MERS Virus Confirmed


A second case of a deadly virus called MERS, or Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, has been confirmed in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a man in Florida is now in isolation following his diagnosis. Earlier this month another patient with MERS in Indiana was put in isolation.

The first case was documented in 2012. The mortality rate is very high and there is no vaccine or treatment. Approximately 27 percent of the people who contract MERS die from it.

What does MERS do? CBN Medical Reporter Lorie Johnson explained this and how to help prevent it, on CBN Newswatch May 13.

So far, 538 cases have been reported to the World Health Organization. At least 145 people have died, with 118 of those deaths in Saudi Arabia.

Despite these figures, healthcare workers say it's important that people not fear this illness because the chance of contracting it, especially in America, is practically non-existent.

MERS is a respiratory virus, called a Corona virus. It is transmitted through direct contact as well as through the air, such as from an infected person coughing or sneezing.

Fortunately, MERS is difficult to transmit because one must be in very close contact for a person to contract it.

Both of the cases in the United States are healthcare workers who were treating MERS patients in Saudi Arabia, then flew back to the United States.

Scientists aren't exactly sure how the virus originated but they believe it came from an animal in Saudi Arabia, most likely camels, possibly bats.

Prevention Tips

The best way to prevent getting a virus is to wash your hands frequently, especially before eating, and to avoid touching your eyes and nose with unwashed hands.

Strengthening your immune system helps overcome viruses when we contract them. The best way to strengthen your immune system is to get plenty of sleep.

Likewise, getting the proper vitamins, either through foods or supplements, is essential to building a strong immune system. Make sure you're getting enough vitamin D, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc.

Healthy fats such as fish oil and coconut oil also strengthen your body's ability to fight disease. Stress is extremely damaging to your health, so look for ways to relieve stress such as exercise and positively interacting with others.

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