Health officials say average person shouldn't worry about MERS - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Health officials say average person shouldn't worry about MERS

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Concern has grown in the US after a second case of a potentially deadly virus was confirmed this week, that has sickened hundreds internationally.

The second confirmed case of MERS, a respiratory illness from the Middle east, was found May 11th at a Florida Hospital with a health care worker from Saudi Arabia.

He flew from his home to the US, making a stop in Atlanta before catching his last flight. Possibly spreading the virus to people at each location.

This after the first unrelated MERS case was found in Indiana just a week before. Since then, the CDC has been working to keep it from spreading.

Despite both scares, health officials say the risk is still very low for the average person.

"Unless you were traveling or you're providing healthcare abroad, in that area, then you may be at risk, but certainly right now it doesn't seem to be a major threat to the average citizen of the United States." said Dr. Jacqueline Grant, District Health Director for Southwest Public Health District.

Those infected can get Pneumonia or flu-like symptoms, like coughing, fever and chills.

As for what you can do to prevent it, not much. But Health officials say the best thing to do is treat it like any other common illness.

"Take precautions that one would usually take, such as washing your hands, not being in contact with ill or sick people, covering coughs or sneezes and you know, just the usual respiratory precautions," said Dr. Grant.

Experts still don't know how the virus is spread but the CDC says it's nothing to be worried about yet and to keep all travel plans.

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