Germs and Viruses on a Plane – Bacteria Can Linger For Up To A Week… Health officials said an Illinois resident tested positive for MERS after being in contact with an infected patient, U.S. officials said on Saturday. According to CDC, the man had a close contact with the Indiana patient, the first to contract the virus in the U.S. The Indiana patient had less-than-an-hour business meeting with the Illinois man last April 25. Their previous contact would be the first known transmission of the virus. The second patient was thought to catch the virus abroad.