Novel Coronavirus (nCoV): Updates (24 January 2020)

Novel Coronavirus (nCoV): Updates (24 January 2020)

Infections and death toll

More than 800 cases of infection have been confirmed so far. Most of the patients have had some contact with a seafood market in the city of Wuhan, China. Infections have also been confirmed in Thailand, Japan, the United States of America and the Republic of Korea.

Twenty-six people have died, two of them outside the Hubei Province.

Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei Province, is now on lockdown; residents are barred from leaving the city.

International response

The Seafood Wholesale Market is closed since January 1, 2020.

The Lunar New Year festivities will start this weekend. Beijing has cancelled activities, in an effort to control large gatherings of people in the capital.

The WHO (World Health Organization) held emergency meetings on January 22 and 23, 2020, regarding the coronavirus outbreak. The Council decided not to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern but agreed the situation is urgent and demands careful handling.

CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has developed a real-time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) test that can diagnose 2019-nCoV.

Screening of passengers coming from Wuhan will be routine at most international airports.

2019 novel CoronaVirus (nCoV)

nCoV is a coronavirus (a kind of virus that infects the respiratory tract).

The first case of infection in humans was detected on December 31, 2019, in the city of Wuhan, China.

Researchers believe that the outbreak has links to the seafood and animal market in the city, suggesting animal-to-person dissemination. Later, it was confirmed that the virus spreads from person to person, via respiratory droplets transmitted when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath.

Currently, no vaccine or drugs are available to prevent or treat the symptoms, even though several research teams are already working on it.


Image Credit: 董辰兴 [CC BY-SA]

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