By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
May 14, 2014
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Concerns over an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome — also known as MER — flared up in the United States after doctors confirmed two cases on American soil, one of them in a city with a large Filipino population.
Both cases involved health care workers who had flown into the United States from Saudi Arabia and came down with flu-like symptoms.
US health officials have been monitoring 20 hospital employees in Orlando, Fla. who were potentially exposed to the MERS virus after coming in contact with one of the infected people in the emergency room.
Click here to learn more about the MERS virus
While experts say MERS is a deadly cold-like virus that can cause pneumonia and kidney failure — it does not appear to spread easily between humans.
They say most who get it are relatives of patients or health care workers.
A Florida Health Department spokesperson says so far tests from the 20 hospital workers in Orlando have come back negative.
In a statement to Balitang America, the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC says it is monitoring the reported MERS cases in the US, especially in Florida where over 120,000 Filipinos live.