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Second US Mers patient diagnosed

The second US patient to be diagnosed with the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) spent at least four hours in the public waiting room of a busy Florida emergency department before he was seen by a doctor, a hospital official said.

Almost eight more hours passed before staff at Orlando's Dr. P. Phillips Hospital determined the patient had travelled from Saudi Arabia and began to suspect his exposure to Mers. They then moved him to an isolation room, said hospital chief quality control officer Dr Antonio Crespo.

He said he has changed the emergency department's procedures, Reuters reported.

From now on, any patient who comes in with flu-like symptoms will be asked whether they travelled to Saudi Arabia or other countries experiencing Mers outbreaks.

Two healthcare workers in contact with the patient have already developed flu-like symptoms and are being tested for Mers.