NEW YORK — Health officials are advising doctors in the United States to be on the lookout for people sickened by Middle East respiratory syndrome, also called MERS, following an outbreak in South Korea.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reminded doctors to ask patients with severe respiratory illness if they recently traveled.

Officials are now urging testing for MERS in very sick patients who had visited a South Korea hospital within two weeks of falling ill.

MERS was first detected in 2012 in the Middle East. More than 1,200 cases have been confirmed, including two travelers to the United States last year.

The MERS virus is thought to spread through sneezing and coughing, but not as easily as the flu or some other diseases.

The electrocardiogram you got at your most recent physical may have been a waste of time and money.

A guideline from the American College of Physicians published recently in The Annals of Internal Medicine concludes that routine cardiac testing of adults without symptoms has not been shown to improve patient outcomes, and can lead to potential harms.

There is no evidence that stress tests, electrocardiograms or the so-called nuclear stress test that involves exposure to radiation have any advantages over routine risk assessment in asymptomatic people. All the tests commonly produce false positives that lead to further unnecessary testing, and all involve extra expense.

The guideline says that the benefits of testing should be greater than the benefits of assessing traditional risk factors like age, smoking, blood pressure and lipid levels.

NEW YORK — A new government report finds that among Hispanic groups in the United States, Puerto Ricans appear to have the worst health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued its most comprehensive report on Hispanic health, drawing from earlier research.

But it also offered new details on differences among Hispanic populations living in the U.S.

It found Puerto Ricans have higher rates of cancer and heart disease than other Hispanics. Puerto Ricans also have higher death rates from cancer, heart disease, homicide and five other leading causes.

The analysis focused on Hispanics living in the 50 states and did not include residents of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. Data covered the years 2009 through 2013.

Wire reports