Hospital officials: Two 'symptomatic' health care workers test negative for MERS

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Two health care workers from Dr. P. Phillips hospital who were showing signs of illness have test negative for MERS, according to hospital officials Wednesday.

Officials said they were still awaiting test results for 18 other Dr. P. Phillips Hospital workers and workers from Orlando Regional Medical Center.

On Monday officials with Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a 44-year-old man was in the hospital with the second case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, reported in the United States.

The man is a health care worker who works and resides in Saudi Arabia. Officials said Wednesday the man has been fever free for 24 hours and is doing well.

At a Tuesday press conference, officials said there may be about 100 people who had been in contact with the patient, and 20 of them are Orlando Health workers. Fifteen of the 20 are doctors and employees of Dr. Phillips Hospital, and the five others work at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Officials said the patient being treated for MERS first started having symptoms of muscle aches while on a plane from London to the U.S. on May 1.

When the symptoms didn't get better, he checked himself in to the hospital on Friday.

Officials said all of those who were exposed have been tested nasally and orally for the MERS virus. Their family members have also been tested.

According to officials, those who were exposed are being self-isolated at their homes until test results are returned. They are getting daily symptom-check phone calls.

Department of Health employees are working to track down those who may have been in the waiting rooms with the patient who has MERS.

Doctors said the risk of an outbreak is very low.

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