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MERS patient sent home from hospital

– The first American diagnosed with a mysterious virus from the Middle East was released Friday from a northwest Indiana hospital after health officials determined the patient “poses no threat to the community.”

The patient is considered fully recovered and has been cleared by health officials to travel, if necessary, after testing negative for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, the Indiana State Department of Health said in a statement.

Dr. Alan Kumar, Community Hospital’s chief medical information officer, said hospital officials completed their discharge plans for the patient with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Indiana health officials.

“The patient has tested negative for MERS, is no longer symptomatic and poses no threat to the community,” Kumar said in the statement.

MERS belongs to the coronavirus family that also includes the common cold and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the patient is an American man. He flew from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to the United States on April 24. He landed at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.