Patient With Deadly MERS Virus Waited Hours In Florida ER

Staff Writer | RT News | May 14, 2014

The second US patient to be diagnosed with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) waited four hours before he was seen by doctors in Florida as 20 health care workers await test results for the deadly virus. After sitting in the crowded waiting room of the Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando for four hours before being seen by a physician, it took another 8 hours for medical personnel to determine the patient had traveled from Saudi Arabia, one of the countries experiencing an outbreak of the disease, which is estimated to kill about one-third of infected people.

The 44-year-old man was quarantined by hospital staff after they began to suspect the patient, who also works at a medical facility in Saudi Arabia, could be a carrier of MERS, a respiratory illness that begins with flu-like symptoms that may progress to pneumonia.

Dr. Antonio Crespo, the hospital's chief quality control officer, said that as of Tuesday he had revamped procedures in the ER section of the hospital so that any patient who arrives with flu-like symptoms will be immediately asked whether they had visited Saudi Arabia, or other countries experiencing MERS outbreaks...