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WJBD - Health & Fitness News - First Confirmed MERS Patient in US in Stable Condition

First Confirmed MERS Patient in US in Stable Condition

Creatas Images/Thinkstock Photos(CHICAGO) -- The man who brought the first known case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome into the United States is in an Indiana hospital in stable condition.

Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, Illinois' Public Health Director, told ABC News that the patient is "requiring a little supplemental oxygen," but that he is not on a ventilator.

Hasbrouck says that it's not terribly likely that the man transmitted the disease to too many other people. "If you had a flight around that time, and were walking through O'Hare, you know chances are pretty negligible that you would have any risk whatsoever."

Dr. Jessica Ridgeway from the University of Chicago says that its likely many people who have the disease "don't have symptoms or...aren't sick enough to go to the hospital." Ridgeway says the mortality rate -- believed to be nearly one-third of the 300 people diagnosed with MERS -- "is likely inflated."

Still, Hasbrouck says, MERS "is a rare but very serious, very dangerous respiratory infection, number one. We want people to know that we are tracking it."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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