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As MERS virus reaches U.S., public health system springs into action

The man arrived at the hospital with a fever and a bad cough. Relatives accompanied him through the doors, beneath the red neon sign reading "Emergency."

It looked like pneumonia, but when doctors at Community Hospital learned that the patient was a healthcare worker in Saudi Arabia, they began suspecting something more sinister.

This story reported that a man infected with the MERS virus took a bus trip from Chicago to Indiana on April 27. He actually made the bus trip April 24, the same day he arrived in Chicago on a flight from Saudi Arabia.

Swabs from the man's nose and mouth confirmed it: The United States had its first case of a new and often deadly ailment called MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and health experts were facing a medical drama that all of them had anticipated but none of them ever hoped to see.

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