Update: Coronavirus in United States

January 24, 2020

 

As of January 23, the first case of the 2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the United States was confirmed in the state of Washington. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC,) the patient was in Wuhan, China, where 2019-nCOV originated in December. An additional patient in Texas who also recently returned from Wuhan, is being treated for a suspected case of the virus as of Friday, January 24. 

The coronavirus is in the same family as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS.) Coronaviruses get their name from “crown-like” (corona) appearance when viewed under a microscope. Since the outbreak initially struck China, it has infected more than 300 people (in China, Thailand, South Korea & Japan) and killed six. 

Patients confirmed with 2019-nCoV have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illnesses with symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath. 

According to the CDC, investigations are ongoing and health officials are monitoring the virus. There currently isn’t a vaccine to prevent infection. The most effective form of prevention is to avoid exposure and take everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water (if no soap is available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer)
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose & mouth
  • Contact your healthcare provider if believe you may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV
  • Avoid all nonessential travel to China, specifically Wuhan
  • Disinfect shared surfaces, frequently touched objects & common areas 
  • Utilize a disinfectant with effective kill claims (dwell time is crucial) 

The Husky line from Canberra currently offers six products that are effective against SARS. 

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UPDATE: 

As of January 30, 2020, there have been six reported cases of coronavirus in the United States. The first person-to-person transmission of the virus was reported Thursday, January 30 in Illinois. Procautions being taken across the United States include airports screening passengers for signs of sickness and airlines suspending some routes to China. 

Global Biorisk Advisory Council (a division of ISSA) is presenting Prepare, Respond, Recover: A Special Webinar on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on Wednesday, February 5 for members and non-members. Register here

Visit the CDC website for the most up-to-date information and news.

Map of the world. Digital image. CDC. 30 January 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html