Summary:

  • 5th US Coronavirus infection confirmed by CDC in 4 states (AZ, CA, IL, WA)
  • CDC calls the virus an  “emerging public health threat,” adding that the threat is “serious.”
  • 2082 cases, 56 Official deaths
  • Incubation is asymptomatic, contagious, and can be as long as 14 days
  • 5M may have left Wuhan for Lunar New Year
  • 1st case was Dec 1 NOT Dec 31 so infect pop may be much bigger
  • US, Russia, Thailand begin plans for evacuation
  • Premier Li Keqiang charged with leading government’s task force
  • 3 Beijing hospitals using AIDS drugs to treat virus

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Update (1510ET): CDC reports that a fifth infection has been confirmed in the US (in Arizona), calling the coronavirus an “emerging public health threat,” says threat is “serious.”

Situation Summary

CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (termed “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand. Chinese health officials have reported more than a thousand infections with 2019-nCoV in China, including outside of Hubei Province. Infections with 2019-nCoV also are being reported in a growing number of international locations, including the United States, where 5 cases in travelers from Wuhan have been confirmed in four states (AZ, CA, IL, WA) as of January 26, 2020.

Source and Spread of the Virus

Chinese health authorities were the first to post the full genome of the 2019-nCoV in GenBank  El , the NIH genetic sequence database, and in the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID Z ) portal, an action which has facilitated detection of this virus. On January 24, 2020, CDC posted in GenBank the full genome of the 2019-nCoV virus detected in the first U.S. patient from Washington state. The virus Chinese health authorities were the first to post the full genome of the 2019-nCoV in GenBank  El , the NIH genetic sequence database, and in the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID Cl ) portal, an action which has facilitated detection of this virus. On January 24, 2020, CDC posted in GenBank the full genome of the 2019-nCoV virus detected in the first U.S. patient from Washington state. The virus genetic sequence from the patient in Washington is nearly identical to the sequences posted from China. The available sequences suggest a likely single, recent emergence from a virus related to bat coronaviruses and the SARS coronavirus. The available sequence information does not provide any information about severity of associated illness or transmissibility of the virus.

Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, and there is evidence that person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.

Illness Severity

Both MERS and SARS have been known to cause severe illness in people. The complete clinical picture with regard to 2019-nCoV is still not fully clear. Reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Learn more about the symptoms associated with 2019- nCoV.

There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

Risk Assessment

Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on characteristics of the virus, including whether and how well it spreads between people, the severity of resulting illness, and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccine or treatment medications).

Investigations are ongoing to learn more, but person-to-person spread of 2019-nCoV is occurring. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China. Person-to-person spread in the United States has not yet been detected, but it’s likely to occur to some extent. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. It’s important to know this in order to better assess the risk posed by this virus. While CDC considers this is a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time. Nevertheless, CDC is taking proactive preparedness precautions.

CDC recommends getting vaccinated, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.

And the poiliticking has begun…

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