First Human-to-Human Coronavirus Transmission in US Confirmed

The World Health Organization has just declared the outbreak a global health emergency.

Almost from the beginning of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned about traveling and interacting with anybody who’s traveled abroad, especially to China. Today the CDC confirmed the first human-to-human transmission of the disease in the United States. It’s the spouse of the Chicago woman who caught the virus when traveling to Wuhan. Shortly after that announcement, the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled the outbreak i a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

To date, more than 6000 cases of the 2019-nCoV have been reported worldwide. The WHO notes that approximately 1% of cases have occurred outside of China.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, WHO director-general, explained that individuals who have contracted 2019-nCoV are experiencing a wide variety of symptoms. In most patients, symptoms are milder, but approximately 1 in 5 individuals have experienced severe illness including severe pneumonia and respiratory failure.

As of January 29, 2020, there have been 7736 confirmed cases of the virus with 170 associated deaths.

Yesterday a flight carrying approximately 210 US citizens who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, arrived at March Air Reserve Base in California.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the aircraft was met by medical officers from the agency to evaluate the health of each passenger. The individuals were each evaluated prior to boarding the plane and along the journey.

Additionally, the CDC is working with the California Department of Public Health and Riverside Country Public Health to transport patients exhibiting symptoms further evaluation. Individuals who are not showing symptoms will be asked to stay at the base and provided housing to allow for CDC medical officers to continue to perform screening and to learn more about exposure.

Earlier this week the CDC updated its guidance regarding travel to China, the hotspot and origin of the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

The agency has issued a level 3 travel health notice that recommends that all US travelers avoid nonessential travel to the entire country of China.

This first appeared in ContagionLive!®.