An electron microscope image of the MERS virus. (AP Photo/NIAID - RML)

May 6 (Bloomberg) — The first U.S. case of a potentially lethal virus from the Arabian peninsula sparked a call from Democrats for congressional hearings on the threat it may pose to the country.

Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, and colleagues sent a letter to Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee requesting a hearing on “federal initiatives to protect Americans from global health threats,” citing the case of a man in Indiana. The patient was diagnosed with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, on April 28 after returning April 24 from a trip to Saudi Arabia.

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