ORLANDO, Fla., May 14 (UPI) -- Two healthcare workers at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando, Fla., tested negative for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus, health officials said Wednesday.
The two hospital workers exhibited symptoms after caring for the second confirmed case of MERS in the United States.
"We want to assure the public that MERS-CoV in Florida is contained and there is no broad threat to the general public," said Dr. John Armstrong, state surgeon general and secretary of health, said in a statement.
The patient, a man who lives and works in healthcare in Saudi Arabia and whose identity has not been made public, was confirmed to have the virus Monday. The patient was in Florida visiting family, reported Bay News 9 in Orlando.We are grateful to the team at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital for their timely diagnosis and care of the patient. Floridians are reminded to practice simple steps to stay healthy: wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth and stay home if you are sick."
Other hospital workers who had contact with the patient have also been tested -- and allowed to go home to be in isolation for 14 days -- but their test results were not yet available.
Meanwhile, the patient, who was admitted to the Dr. P. Phillips Hospital is improving and for the past 24 hours has been without fever. He had been running a fever of 102 F.
Physicians don't know how the virus is spread, but so far in other countries, transmission from person-to-person has not been from casual contact, but from close contact within a family or among healthcare workers treating for a patient.