Atlanta man concerned about MERS patient on his flight

ATLANTA – There are now developments in the health invstigation of the MERS virus. On Monday, it was learned that a second US patient had contracted the deadly virus.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the patient flew through Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport during his travels, and is now hospitalized in Florida.

11Alive's Matt Pearl spoke with a passenger from that flight who is looking for answers.

The passenger, Ben Kinney, says the CDC has called him twice in as many days. They told him he was on a flight from Boston to Atlanta with the person infected with the MERS virus.

Kinney is an Atlanta resident who travels regularly. The CDC hasn't said publicly which flights carried the patient, but they confirmed he was on a flight back from Boston earlier this month. He has been told he's probably fine, but that he should keep an eye out for any symptoms.

The CDC wouldn't tell him how close he sat to the patient in question while on board the flight.

"I thought it was critical information," Kinney said. "I thought it didn't violate anyone's confidentiality or health information, so there was no reason to keep it from me."

Meanwhile, the patient with MERS is still in a Florida hospital. Now, two health care workers with him have fallen ill. The hospital could not say yet whether the cause was MERS. The news that this virus has again reached US soil has also reached the president.

"Symptoms of MERS include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, or sore throat.


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