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Illinois Man Didn't Contract MERS-CoV After All — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 29, 2014

Illinois Man Didn't Contract MERS-CoV After All

By Kelly Young

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD , and Lorenzo Di Francesco, MD, FACP, FHM

New tests indicate that the first U.S. patient (in Indiana) with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) did not spread the virus to an Illinois man with whom he had several business meetings, the CDC reports.

Early serology tests had indicated that the Illinois man, who was never ill, had antibodies to MERS-CoV. However, a more precise test, the neutralizing antibody assay, came back negative for these antibodies, revealing the man was never infected with MERS-CoV. CDC officials say the early false-positive results may have been caused by cross-reactivity with other coronaviruses.

To date, there have been two confirmed cases of imported MERS-CoV in the U.S., and the virus does not appear to have spread to any close contacts of these two patients.

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