CDC Confirms First Case Of MERS In U.S.; Death Toll In Saudi Arabia Rises To 111

News outlets discuss the latest developments in the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak, including the first reported case of the coronavirus in the U.S.

Associated Press: CDC confirms first case of MERS virus in American
“Health officials confirmed the first case of an American infected with a mysterious virus that has sickened hundreds in the Middle East…” (Stobbe, 5/3).

Associated Press: Indiana health officials: MERS patient improving
“…The man fell ill with Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, after flying to the U.S. late last week from Saudi Arabia, where he was a health care worker…” (Coyne, 5/3).

CNN: MERS makes first U.S. appearance, in Indiana
“…The CDC and the Indiana State Department of Health are conducting a joint investigation into the case, according to a CDC statement. The CDC confirmed Indiana test results on Friday…” (Landau, 5/3).

The Hill: Deadly MERS virus comes to America
“…According to the World Health Organization, the exact means by which humans are infected is unknown, though camels are suspected as a primary source of the virus. Person-to-person infection is possible as well…” (Neff, 5/2).

New York Times: First U.S. Case of MERS Virus Is Found in Indiana Man Who Visited Mideast
“…A single American case of the virus … is ‘a very low risk,’ Dr. [Anne Schuchat, director of respiratory diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,] said. The CDC is not recommending that anyone change travel plans to the Middle East…” (McNeil, 5/2).

Reuters: Exclusive: Specter of SARS weighs on CDC as MERS virus lands in U.S.
“…In addition to disease prevention experts, the CDC has sent a team of virologists to the hospital to study the MERS virus, which is still poorly understood. Although the virus first surfaced in 2012, its presence in the United States will give U.S. scientists the opportunity to study it up close…” (Steenhuysen, 5/4).

Agence France-Presse: MERS virus death toll in Saudi reaches 111
“Saudi health authorities announced Saturday two new deaths from the MERS coronavirus, raising to 111 the number of fatalities since the disease appeared in the kingdom in September 2012…” (5/3).

Reuters: Egypt investigates suspected MERS coronavirus death
“Egyptian authorities are investigating whether a 60-year-old woman who has died in the city of Port Said had the SARS-like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). If confirmed, it would be Egypt’s first death from the virus…” (5/5).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.