Authorities report novel coronavirus cases in new areas of eastern China Jan. 21. US CDC upgrades notice. Use basic health precautions.

Warning Alert

Click on above image for interactive map.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Beijing
  • Shanghai
  • Tianjin
  • Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
  • Wuhan, Hubei Province
  • Chengdu, Sichuan Province
  • Chongqing
  • Dongguan, Guangdong Province
  • Shenzhen, Guangdong Province
  • Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province
  • Zhengzhou
  • Foshan, Guangdong Province
  • Shantou, Guangdong Province
  • Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province
  • Ningbo, Zhejiang Province
  • Zhuhai, Guangdong Province
  • Dazhou, Sichuan Province
  • Wanzhou, Chongqing
  • Mianyang, Sichuan Province
  • Panzhihua, Sichuan Province
  • Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province
  • Xichang, Sichuan Province
  • Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province

This alert began 22 Jan 2020 01:48 GMT and is scheduled to expire 29 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Novel Coronavirus
  • Location(s): Eastern provinces, primarily Hubei (map)
  • Period: December 2019-January 2020
  • Cases (Confirmed): 309 (258)

Summary
Chinese authorities report additional suspected cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in new areas among eastern and southern provinces Jan. 21. Most confirmed cases have occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province (258 cases). Small clusters of suspected and confirmed cases in travelers from Wuhan have been reported in seven provinces: Beijing, Chongqing, Guangdong, Henan, Shanghai, Sichuan, Tianjin, and Zhejiang. All cases presenting with severe pneumonia have been hospitalized for treatment in isolation. Strict basic health precautions and diligent handwashing remain the best way to avoid infection. Health authorities are conducting epidemiological investigations to determine the source of exposure of the newly confirmed cases. Additional cases will likely be identified in the coming days and weeks in this rapidly evolving situation.

The US CDC upgraded their travel health notice Jan. 21 to "Alert-Level 2" due to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) activity in China. This level of notice advises travelers to practice enhanced precautions: travelers to Wuhan should avoid contact with sick people, animals (alive or dead), and animal markets, as well as maintain diligent basic health precautions, primarily frequent handwashing. Travelers to other locations in China where imported cases have occurred should maintain their basic health precautions.

Background and Analysis
The reported clinical signs and symptoms of 2019-nCoV infection are primarily fever, with only a few patients reported having breathing difficulty with chest radiographs highlighting invasive pneumonic infiltrates in both lungs. Preliminary information suggests 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. Officials continue with intensive disease surveillance, contact tracing, and epidemiological investigations into all suspected and confirmed case of 2019-nCoV.

This outbreak was first 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 (2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-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 most of these cases were individuals who handled the seafood and frequent visitors to the market. Authorities closed the market Jan. 1, 2020.

Advice
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.

Resources
US CDC Travel Health Notice: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices