2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – What you need to know

2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – What you need to know

There is an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness first identified in Wuhan, China, caused by a novel (new) coronavirus called as 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Person-to-person spread is occurring. Other parts of China and other countries have also reported cases. Older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease. The situation is evolving. This posted article will be updated as more information becomes available.

About 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

There is an ongoing investigation to determine more about this outbreak. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available

2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. 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, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.

World map of coronavirus outbreaks.

Locations with Confirmed 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Cases

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Taiwan
  • Australia
  • France
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Nepal
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • The Republic of Korea
  • United States
  • Vietnam

Symptom 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

For confirmed 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infections, reported symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.

Transmission – How it Spreads

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS and SARS. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring.

At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. 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. Cases in healthcare settings, like hospitals, may also occur.

When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. Spread of SARS and MERS between people has generally occurred between close contacts.

It’s important to note that how easily a virus spreads person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. It’s important to know this in order to better understand the risk associated with this virus.

There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with 2019-nCoV and investigations are ongoing.

Prevention & Treatment

Prevention

There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Everyday preventive actions are recommended to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.

Treatment

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

FAQs -2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Q: What is 2019 Novel Coronavirus?

A: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hebei Province, China.

Q: What is a novel coronavirus? 

A novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified.

Q: What is the source of 2019 Novel Coronavirus?

A: Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of the 2019-nCoV. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting the virus likely emerged from an animal source. Analysis of the genetic tree of this virus is ongoing to know the specific source of the virus. SARS, another coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from civit cats, while MERS, another coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from camels.

Q: What are the symptoms and complications that Novel Coronavirus 2019 can cause?

A: Current symptoms reported for patients with 2019-nCoV have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Q: How does the virus spread?

A: This virus probably originally emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person-to-person. 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 not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person-to-person. When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. Spread of MERS and SARS between people has generally occurred between close contacts.

Q: How can I help protect myself?

A: There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Q: Is it safe to travel to Wuhan, China or other countries where 2019-nCoV 2019 cases have occurred?

A: CDC has issued at a Level 3 Travel Health Notice recommending people avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China, including Wuhan. CDC has also issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice for the rest of China: Practice Usual Precautions. The notice advises travelers to other parts of China to protect their health by avoiding contact with sick people, avoiding animals (alive or dead) and animal markets, and washing their hands often. The situation is evolving.

Q: What if I recently traveled to Wuhan, China and got sick?

A: If you were in Wuhan and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left Wuhan, you should

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Q: Is there a vaccine?

A: Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Q: What are the treatments?

A: There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

Q: Should I be tested for 2019-nCoV?

A: If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from Wuhan, China, you should call ahead to a healthcare provider and mention your recent travel or close contact. If you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from this area, you should call ahead to a healthcare provider and mention your recent travel or close contact to determine if you need to be tested for 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Q: Is 2019-nCoV the same as the MERS-CoV or SARS virus?

A: No. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. The recently emerged 2019-nCoV is not the same as the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or the coronavirus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003. There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

Q: Should I be concerned about pets or other animals and 2019-nCoV?

While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. CDC recommends that people traveling to China avoid animals both live and dead, but there is no reason to think that any animals or pets might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus.

Q: What about animals or animal products imported from China?

CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that animals or animal products imported from China pose a risk for spreading 2019-nCoV in the United States. 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.

CDC Recommends

While the immediate risk of this new virus to the general public is believed to be low at this time, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:

  • For everyone: It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting vaccinated, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
  • For healthcare professionals:
    • Be on the look-out for people with travel history to Wuhan, China and fever and respiratory symptoms.
    • If you are a healthcare professional caring a 2019-nCoV patient, please take care of yourself and follow recommended infection control procedures.
  • For people who may have 2019-nCoV infection: Please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others.
  • For travelers: Stay up to date with CDC’s travel health notices related to this outbreak.

    Healthcare Professional Preparedness Checklist – 2019 novel Coronavirus

    Healthcare Personnel Preparedness Checklist for 2019-nCoV [PDF]

    The following checklist highlights key steps for healthcare personnel in preparation for transport and arrival of patients potentially infected with 2019-nCoV.

    □ Stay up to date on the latest information about signs and symptoms, diagnostic testing, and case definitions for 2019-nCoV disease.

    □ Review your infection prevention and control policies and CDC infection control recommendations for 2019-nCoV for:

    □ Assessment and triage of patients with acute respiratory symptoms

    □ Patient placement

    □ Implementation of Standard, Contact, and Airborne Precautions, including the use of eye protection

    □ Visitor management and exclusion

    □ Source control measures for patients (e.g., put facemask on suspect patients)

    □ Requirements for performing aerosol generating procedures

    □ Be alert for patients who meet the persons under investigation (PUI) definition

    □ Know how to report a potential 2019-nCoV case or exposure to facility infection control leads and public health officials

    □ Know who, when, and how to seek evaluation by occupational health following an unprotected exposure (i.e., not wearing recommended PPE) to a suspected or confirmed nCoV patient

    □ Remain at home, and notify occupational health services, if you are ill

    □ Know how to contact and receive information from your state or local public health agency

Reference : CDC

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