2nd Confirmed Case Of Wuhan Coronavirus In US, Screening Begins On Some China To US Inbound Flights

Here’s the latest on the deadly virus spreading throughout China and beyond, including a second confirmed US case…

FRIDAY, JANUARY 24th AFTERNOON UPDATE (1:00 P.M. EST):

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The CDC has confirmed a second case of coronavirus in the U.S:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today confirmed the second infection with 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the United States has been detected in Illinois. The patient recently returned from Wuhan, China, where an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by this novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December 2019.

The patient returned to the U.S. from Wuhan on January 13, 2020, and called a health care provider after experiencing symptoms a few days later.  The patient was admitted to a hospital, where infection control measures were taken to reduce the risk of transmission to other individuals. The patient remains hospitalized in an isolation room in stable condition and is doing well.

Based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, health care professionals suspected 2019-nCoV. A clinical specimen was collected and sent to CDC, where laboratory testing confirmed the infection. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) are investigating locations where this patient went after returning to Illinois and are identifying any close contacts who were possibly exposed.  The patient has limited close contacts, all of whom are currently well and who will be monitored for symptoms. Since returning from China, the patient has had very limited movement outside the home.

CDC is taking aggressive public health measures to help protect the health of Americans.  While CDC considers this a serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time.  CDC is working closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Chicago Department of Public Health, and other local partners. A CDC team has been deployed to support the ongoing investigation.

However, CDC has been proactively preparing for the introduction of 2019-nCoV in the U.S. for weeks, including:

  • First alerting clinicians on January 8 to be on the look-out for patients with respiratory symptoms and a history of travel to Wuhan, China.
  • Developing guidance for clinicians for testing and management of 2019-nCoV, as well as guidance for home care of patients with 2019-nCoV.
  • Has developed a diagnostic test to detect this virus in clinical specimens. Currently, testing must take place at CDC, but CDC is preparing to share these test kits with domestic and international partners.
  • Implementing public health entry screening at Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK), and San Francisco (SFO) airports.  CDC is currently evaluating the extent and duration of this enhanced screening.
  • CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center to better provide ongoing support.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating 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 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Investigations are ongoing to learn more, but person-to-person spread of 2019-nCoV is occurring.

It is likely there will be more cases reported in the U.S. in the coming days and weeks. CDC will continue to update the public as circumstances warrant.  While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time, there are simple daily precautions that everyone should always take.  It is 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.  Right now, CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China. In addition, CDC recommends people traveling to China practice certain health precautions like avoiding contact with people who are sick and practicing good hand hygiene.

For more information about the current outbreak in China, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For travel health information, visit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/pneumonia-china.

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CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

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A Friday afternoon round-up from Twitter:

 

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END OF FRIDAY, JANUARY 24th AFTERNOON UPDATE

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(Silver Doctors Editors) China is quickly going on lock-down.

Quarantine, that is, by a different name.

From CNN on Thursday afternoon:

What we know so far

  • The virus: At least 17 people are dead in China and more than 600 confirmed infected as the Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread throughout Asia and across the world.
  • Wuhan, Huanggang, Ezhou under lockdown: Wuhan, the city of 11 million people where the outbreak began, is under partial lockdown in an effort to contain the virus. Travel restrictions are also in place in the neighboring cities of Huanggang and Ezhou.
  • Beijing cancels New Year celebrations: Authorities in the Chinese capital have canceled all large-scale New Year celebrations.
  • Precautions worldwide: Countries including the US, UK and Australia will begin health screenings at airports. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization will decide today whether the virus constitutes “a public health emergency of international concern.”

Some coverage via Twitter:

 

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The CDC has issued a Warning – Level 3, avoid non-essential travel to Wuhan, China:

Key Points
CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China.
There is an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that can be spread from person to person.
Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan, including buses, subways, trains, and the international airport.

Preliminary information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease from this virus.

The situation is evolving. This notice will be updated as more information becomes available.

What is the current situation?
CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China. In response to an outbreak of respiratory illness, Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan, including buses, subways, trains, and the international airport.
Information for travelers to other parts of China is available at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/china.
A novel (new) coronavirus is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This outbreak began in early December 2019 and continues to expand in scope and magnitude. Chinese health officials have reported hundreds of cases in the city of Wuhan and severe illness has been reported, including deaths. Cases have also been identified in travelers from Wuhan to other parts of China and other countries, including the United States. We expect more cases to be confirmed. Person-to-person spread is occurring though it’s unclear how easily this virus is spreading between people at this time.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. There are several known coronaviruses that infect people and usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold. However, at least two previously identified coronaviruses have caused severe disease — severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.

Signs and symptoms of this illness include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. This novel coronavirus has the potential to cause severe disease and death. Preliminary information suggests older adults and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems may be at higher risk of severe illness from this virus. Many characteristics of this novel coronavirus and how it may affect people are still unclear.

In response to this outbreak, Chinese officials are screening travelers leaving the city of Wuhan. Several countries and territories throughout the world are reported to have implemented health screening of travelers arriving from Wuhan.

On arrival to the United States, travelers from Wuhan may undergo health screening, including having their temperature taken and being asked to fill out a symptom questionnaire. Travelers with signs and symptoms of illness (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) will have an additional health assessment.

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Reuters is reporting that global airlines are on high alert:

(Reuters) – Airlines and passengers are on guard against a new flu-like virus that originated in Wuhan, China.

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Since 2003, the number of annual air passengers has more than doubled, with China growing to become the world’s largest outbound travel market.

Developing…