Additional cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) have been confirmed in the US, bringing the total number of cases to 5, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The most recent cases were reported in patients in Arizona and California who had recently returned from Wuhan, China where an outbreak of the novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December 2019. Healthcare professionals suspected the illness based on the patients’ travel history and symptoms, and lab testing at the CDC confirmed the infection. Cases have now been reported in a total of 4 states: Arizona, California, Illinois, and Washington. While considered a public health threat, the CDC states that, at this time, “the risk to the US general public is low.”
According to the Agency, patients who meet the following criteria should be evaluated as a patient under investigation for 2019-nCov:
- Fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness and in the last 14 days before symptoms onset, a history of travel from Wuhan City, China or close contact with a person who is under investigation for 2019-nCov while that person was will.
- Fever or symptoms of lower respiratory illness and in the last 14 days, close contact with an ill laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCov patient.
Recommendations for reporting, testing, specimen collection, and infection control can be found on the CDC website.
Coronaviridae is a large family of viruses, of which some strains cause respiratory illness in humans, while others circulate among animals such as camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people; this infection can then become epidemic among humans via respiratory droplets between close contacts, as occurred with the outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The CDC does highlight that, presently, it is unclear how 2019-nCoV is being transmitted between humans.
For more information visit cdc.gov.