Health officials say Siouxlanders have a low risk of contracting - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Health officials say Siouxlanders have a low risk of contracting MERS

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Is MERS a risk for people living in Siouxland? Health officials said only if you plan to travel to the Middle East. However, if you do come in contact with someone who's traveled to that region, local health officials said to keep an eye out for respiratory symptoms for MERS like a cold including fever, cough and shortness of breath. For most people, health officials said you'll only contract it by visiting the Middle East, and the cases of people getting it on American soil are very few.

"Person-to-person spread is again possible but not very efficient," said Tyler Brock from Siouxland District Health. "So this is not something that's expected to just spread like wildfire, like some viruses and some other illnesses have the ability to do. So, there's lots of reasons to be concerned worldwide and in this country about this virus because it is very serious, but the likelihood of the average person and the general public getting this is very low."

To keep yourself from getting MERS, or any respiratory virus, officials at Siouxland District Health recommend taking routine measures. They suggest getting in to the habit of washing your hands thoroughly and frequently, and avoiding contact with people who are sick.

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