Little Pink Houses and MERS in Indiana

The just revealed news of an imported MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) case in Indiana--the first in the US--is not surprising. 

MERS has been simmering for 2 years and importations have occurred to several countries, including the UK. 

In this case, an infected healthcare worker (not surprisingly) traveled from Riyadh to London and on to Chicago. The patient then boarded a bus to Indiana.  

Although MERS has a case fatality rate of 30%, this patient appears to be not critically ill. Important actions in the coming days will include searching for secondary cases.

This case illustrates 2 important things:

1. It's a small world and infections on one side of the globe can appear on the other with no border restriction string enough to stop it. 

2. Astute clinicians are crucial. From what I've read, the patient's travel history tipped off physicians who ordered the appropriate tests. 

MERS occurring in the US was something that was expected and planned for--remember 8 SARS cases occurred in the US as well.