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National
Officials confirm MERS patient being treated at Fla. hospital
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Officials confirm MERS patient being treated at Fla. hospital

Officials confirm MERS patient being treated at Fla. hospital

Officials confirm MERS patient being treated at Fla. hospital

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Health officials said the second U.S. case of a mysterious virus that has sickened hundreds in the Middle East has been confirmed in Orange County.

Officials with Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the case Monday afternoon.

According to the CDC, the most recent case involves 44-year-old man who is a healthcare worker who works and resides in Saudi Arabia. They believe the patient was helping to treat MERS patients there.

>> Read more trending stories  

Officials said the patient was admitted to the Dr. P. Phillips hospital on May 9 and is doing well.

"He's been in the hospital in good condition.  He's progressing well.  He's not requiring oxygen and supplements, and basically we're monitoring his condition on a regular basis," said Dr. Antoni Crespo with Dr. P. Phillips Hospital.

The man flew from Saudi Arabia to Orlando, with several stops in between, according to officials who said they are working to identify people who may have been on the flights with the patient.

According to officials the man's travels took him from Saudi Arabia to London, Boston, Atlanta and then Orlando. He arrived in Orlando May 1.

Officials said the risk to the general public is "very low."

"The Florida Department of Health is working closely with hospital officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure appropriate care of the patient and protect the health of all residents and visitors in Florida,” said Dr. John Armstrong, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health. "There is no broad risk to the health of the general public.”

Hospital officials said 16 hospital workers who treated man have been asked to stay home for 14 days.

The virus is MERS, or 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. A third of those who develop symptoms die from it.

Most cases have been in Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. But earlier this month a first U.S. case was diagnosed in a man who traveled from Saudi Arabia to Indiana.

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