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Health leaders warn of MERS

Published 10:17am Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Though it hasn’t reached Minnesota yet, state and local health leaders are reportedly watching Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Cononavirus (MERS) closely.

Community Health Director Lisa Kocer told the county board Tuesday during a public health update that the Minnesota Department of Health is watching closely now that the virus is in the U.S.

“The Minnesota Department of Health is really taking this very seriously,” Kocer said.

Kocer said the Minnesota Department of Health has tested several cases, but all have turned up negative. Three cases have been confirmed in the United States.

“What makes them nervous is it’s going from person to person now,” Kocer said.

Another booming tick season looms

Public health officials are warning of another booming tick season.

Community Health Director Lisa Kocer told the county board Tuesday that the winter’s harsh winter did little to harm the tick population, as the consistent snow cover served as an insulator for the insects.

“Last year we had a huge increase in tick-bourn illness and they suspect the same will happen this year,” Kocer said.

The tick population has steadily gone up, as has the risk of Lyme diesease.

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