Health: Elevated 2019 novel coronavirus activity reported Jan. 19, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Maintain basic health precautions.

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Severity: Warning Alert

This alert affects Wuhan, Hubei Province.

This alert began 20 Jan 2020 08:51 GMT and is scheduled to expire 20 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Novel coronavirus outbreak
  • Affected Area(s): Wuhan, Hubei Province (map)
  • Period: December 2019 - January 2020
  • Cases (Confirmed): 198 (198)

Chinese authorities have confirmed that the reported viral pneumonia outbreak is the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCOV) with 198 cases confirmed in Wuhan, Hubei Province as of Jan. 19. Officials hospitalized all cases presented with severe pneumonia, to receive treatment in isolation. Health authorities are conducting epidemiological investigations to determine the source of exposure of the newly confirmed cases. This represents the most complete information available as of Jan. 20.

The reported clinical signs and symptoms of infection are primarily fever, with only a few patients reported having difficulty in breathing with chest radiographs highlighting invasive pneumonic infiltrates in both lungs.

As of Jan. 17, the US CDC maintains a "Watch-Level 1" travel health notice due to reported novel coronavirus in China. This level of notice emphasizes the need for travelers to enhance basic health precautions by washing hands regularly with soap; avoid contact with sick individuals; and avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (especially uncooked meat).

Background and Analysis
The disease outbreak was reported Dec. 31, 2019, as suspected Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) cases. However, by Jan. 7, 2020 the pathogen was isolated and identified as a new type of coronavirus (novel coronavirus, nCOV), ruling out any other respiratory pathogens such as influenza, avian influenza, adenovirus, SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), as the cause. Evidence suggests that the primary outbreak is associated with exposures in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market and the majority of these cases were individuals who handled the seafood and frequent visitors to the market. Authorities closed the market Jan. 1, 2020. To date, no infection has been reported among healthcare workers, and there is no clear evidence of human-human transmission. Chinese health authorities continue with intensive surveillance and follow-up measures and epidemiological investigations.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

US CDC Travel Health Notice: