NEWARK, N.J. (PIX11) — This is no routine warning from the Centers for Disease Control.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS virus, has been documented in the U.S. for the first time.
As a result, travelers in almost two dozen airports across the country, including the big three here in the NY Metro area, will be seeing posters, recommending precautions for people traveling to the Arabian Peninsula.
At Newark Liberty International Airport there is concern.
“I think the airlines have to be very cautious about that. Because you can be exposed on a plane. And no where to go. Absolutely,” said New Jersey resident Roberta Kirk.
Two people so far have tested positive for MERS, one in Indiana and another in Florida.
Both are health care providers who traveled overseas, and then began experiencing flu like symptoms.
The virus attacks the respiratory system, triggering symptoms that include coughing, fever, trouble breathing.
Why is it so scary? It’s spreads through the body faster than the very similar SARS virus of a decade ago, is much deadlier and at the outset, resembles a common cold.
There is no vaccine for MERS, which has a thirty percent mortality rate.