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Update and Interim Guidance on Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, China

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses such according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most people get infected with coronaviruses at one point in their lives, but symptoms are typically mild to moderate. In some cases, the viruses can cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis. 
People wear face masks as they wait at Hankou Railway Station on Jan. 22, 2020, in Wuhan, China, where the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV originated.
(Image: © Xiaolu Chu/Getty Images
as the common cold,
These viruses are common amongst animals worldwide, but only a handful of them are known to affect humans. Rarely, coronaviruses can evolve and spread from animals to humans. This is what happened with the coronaviruses known as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-Cov), both of which are known to cause more severe symptoms.
Criteria to Guide Evaluation of Patients Under Investigation (PUI) for 2019-nCoV
Patients in the United States who meet the following criteria should be evaluated as a PUI in association with the outbreak of 2019-nCoV in Wuhan City, China.
1) Fever1 AND symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
–and in the last 14 days before symptom onset,
  • History of travel from Wuhan City, China
    -or-
  • Close contact2 with a person who is under investigation for 2019-nCOV while that person was ill
he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to closely monitor an outbreak of a 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China that began in December 2019. CDC has established an Incident Management System to coordinate a domestic and international public health response.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people; numerous other coronaviruses 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 Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/index.html) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) (https://www.cdc.gov/sars/index.html).
Chinese authorities report most patients in the Wuhan City outbreak have been epidemiologically linked to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic origin to the outbreak. Chinese authorities additionally report that they are monitoring several hundred healthcare workers who are caring for outbreak patients; no spread of this virus from patients to healthcare personnel has been reported to date. Chinese authorities are reporting no ongoing spread of this virus in the community, but they cannot rule out that some limited person-to-person spread may be occurring. China has reported that two of the patients have died, including one with pre-existing medical conditions. Chinese health officials publicly posted the genetic sequence of the 2019-nCoV on January 12, 2020. This will facilitate identification of infections with this virus and development of specific diagnostic tests.
Thailand and Japan have confirmed additional cases of 2019-nCoV in travelers from Wuhan, China. It is possible that more cases will be identified in the coming days. This is an ongoing investigation and given previous experience with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, it is possible that person-person spread may occur. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with 2019-nCoV as the investigations in China, Thailand, and Japan continue. Additional information about this novel virus is needed to better inform population risk.

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