Single imported case of novel coronavirus reported in Macau, China, Jan. 22. Patient hospitalized in isolation; low risk to the public.

Severity: Informational Alert

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This alert began 22 Jan 2020 20:57 GMT and is scheduled to expire 29 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Novel coronavirus
  • Location(s): Macau 
  • Period: January 2020
  • Cases (Confirmed): 1 (1)

Health authorities in Macau report a single imported case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Jan. 22 in an individual returning to Macau via rail from Wuhan. The individual passed through health checkpoints before displaying symptoms of the disease. The individual is now hospitalized in isolation for treatment. Risk to the wider public is currently assessed as low.

Background and Analysis
The reported clinical signs and symptoms of 2019-nCoV infection are primarily fever; 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 cases of 2019-nCoV.

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.

WHO advice for international travel

CDC travel health notice