Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Medical Staff and Managers
MERS Daily Briefing

Patient Status Update
The patient is no longer on supplemental oxygen, is eating well and generally improving.  The patient is expected to be discharged soon.  Discharge planning will include the CDC regarding ongoing monitoring and future travel plans.

Hospital Staff and Physicians Update
Hospital staff who were exposed to the patient (prior to the patient being placed in isolation) remain in home isolation and continue to be monitored daily.  All of the exposed healthcare workers have tested negative for the MERS virus.

Highlights from the Press Conference
Today we hosted a national press briefing at the hospital.  The focus of the press conference was to highlight the collaboration and joint efforts of the Hospital, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) in recognizing the virus and containing the exposure to the public.

Speaking at the press briefing were Don Fesko, Dr. Daniel Feikin, Medical Epidemiologist of the CDC, Dr. William VanNess, Commissioner of the ISDH, Dr. Alan Kumar, Chief Medical Information Officer, and Governor Mike Pence.  The Governor, the ISDH and the CDC representatives all recognized the tremendous efforts and great work provided by the hospital.  Dr. VanNess assured everyone that the public is safe, and noted that based on the fast action of the hospital and through the cooperative efforts of the hospital, ISDH and CDC, “MERS picked the wrong hospital, wrong city and wrong state to try and gain a foothold.”

Governor Pence emphasized the collaboration of the State and Federal agencies, and stressed the safety of patient care at the hospital.  Governor Pence again praised the hospital for its recognition of this rare disease and fast action to contain the situation and protect the public.  Governor Pence asked the audience to give a round of applause to the hospital and the medical staff for their exemplary work in this situation.  He expressed his confidence that the fast actions of the hospital, ISDH and CDC prevented any outbreak of MERS.

All of the participants emphasized the safety of the hospital and that there is no risk to the community at large.  Follow up media interviews will be occurring with Dr. Kumar and the CDC.

Provided by:  
Tom Bettenhausen, NREMT-P
Chairman & Strike Team Leader - IDHS District 1 EMS Element
Secretary - Indiana District 1 Hospital Emergency Planning Committee Inc.
EMS Coordinator
Community Hospital