Novel (new) coronavirus (termed “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand. Chinese health officials have reported hundreds of infections with 2019-nCoV in China, including outside of Hubei Province. A number of countries, including the United States, have been actively screening incoming travelers from Wuhan and human infections with 2019-nCoV have been confirmed in Taiwan, Thailand,external icon Japanexternal icon, and South Koreaexternal icon. The United States announced their first infection with 2019-nCoV detected in a traveler returning from Wuhan on January 21, 2020.
What are Coronaviruses ?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with MERS and SARS. When person-to-person spread has occurred with SARS and MERS, it is thought to have happened 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. Past MERS and SARS outbreaks have been complex, requiring comprehensive public health responses.
How Coronaviruses are spreading between people
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, suggesting person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.
Both MERS and SARS have been known to cause severe illness in people. The situation with regard to 2019-nCoV is still unclear. While severe illness, including illness resulting in a number of deaths has been reported in China, other patients have had milder illness and been discharged.
There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affiliated with U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is closely monitoring this situation and is working with WHO.
CDC began entry screening of passengers on direct and connecting flights from Wuhan, China to the three main ports of entry in the United States on January 17, 2020. Entry screening will be expanded to airports in Atlanta and Chicago in the coming days.
CDC issued an updated interim Health Alert Notice (HAN) Advisory to inform state and local health departments and health care providers about this outbreak on January 17, 2020.
CDC.gov (https://www.cdc.gov/index.htm) is your online source for credible health information and is the official Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC also guards against international disease transmission, with personnel stationed in more than 25 foreign countries.