OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) – A patient at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika has tested negative for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced on Saturday.
The announcement comes after the ADPH said there could have been a potential case after a person was admitted to the hospital with respiratory problems on Aug. 13.
"The Alabama Department of Public Health Bureau of Clinical Laboratories ran a panel of respiratory tests, including one for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), on an individual in Alabama," the press release states. "Because of a history of having recently returned from Saudi Arabia, the patient was placed in negative-pressure isolation and a decision was made to perform a respiratory panel of tests. While initial tests at the State Lab were negative, additional testing is required to confirm or exclude MERS."
According to the CDC, MERS is an illness caused by the coronavirus, effecting the respiratory system.
Symptoms of MERS includes fever, cough, shortness of breath and an acute respiratory illness. About 30 to 40 percent of those who test positive with MERS have died of the illness.
The first report of MERS was in Saudi Arabia in September 2012.