Washington:  US President Barack Obama has been briefed by his top advisors after a second case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(MERS) was discovered on US soil, the White House said today.

“The president has been briefed on this development … Our team is watching it closely,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Health authorities had said yesterday that a second cause of the virus was discovered in a health care worker who lives and works in Saudi Arabia, who travelled by plane on May 1 from Jeddah to London, then to Boston, Atlanta, and Orlando.

The patient, whose name and gender were not released, is in a Florida hospital and doing well, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

The United States announced its first case of the virus last week, in a health care worker who had travelled to Riyadh at the end of April. He was released from  hospital on Saturday and is considered fully recovered.

Carney said the White House was working, through Obama’s top Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco, with the CDC and Florida health authorities.

MERS causes fever, cough and shortness of breath, and can be lethal particularly among older people and those with pre-existing health problems.

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