Three imported cases of novel coronavirus reported Jan. 25 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. All are quarantined. Maintain basic health precautions.

Severity: Informational Alert

This alert began 25 Jan 2020 16:34 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Novel Coronavirus
  • Location(s): Johor Bahru (map)
  • Period: January 2020
  • Cases (Confirmed): 3 (3)

Malaysian authorities report three confirmed imported cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Jan. 25. These cases are close contacts of a Chinese national who is being treated in Singapore for 2019-nCoV infection, which he contracted in Wuhan, China. The infected individuals are isolated at a hotel in Johor Bahru, Malaysia for treatment. Risk to wider public is considered low.

Background and Analysis
Older individuals and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed by Chinese health authorities, though it remains unclear how easily the virus spreads between people.

Clinical signs and symptoms of 2019-nCoV infection are primarily fever, cough, chills, and difficulty breathing. Some reports suggest conjunctivitis (reddening associated with infection or irritation of the eye) may be an early symptom of 2019-nCoV, and that respiratory droplets from infected individuals may infect others via contact with the mucous membrane of the eye. Investigations into transmission and disease modeling are ongoing.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Additionally, avoid close contact with animals (dead or alive), and practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.