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2019 Novel (2019-nCoV) Coronavirus JVE Update

2019 Novel (2019-nCoV) Coronavirus JVE Update

By Christina K. Psomas

The Wuhan 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is the causal virus of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019.

A total of 4690 cases have been confirmed as of 28 January 2020; 1 pm EST, with 4610 in mainland China, 14 in Thailand, 8 in Hong Kong, 8 in Taiwan, 7 in Japan, 5 in the US, 3 in France, and 2 in Canada. The total number of deaths has reached 106 and is increasing. Authorities in Wuhan, the ground zero of the outbreak, have announced that a new 1000-bed isolation hospital is being built in a matter of weeks.


For many of the early-diagnosed patients there was a link to a large seafood and live animal market in Wuhan suggesting animal-to-human spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have had no exposure to animal markets, indicating that human-to-human spread is now occurring. There is still a lack of data on how infectious the virus is and its capacity to be transmitted.


Picture includes mainly constitutional and respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, runny nose, headache, dyspnoea, chills and myalgia. The complete clinical picture with regard to 2019-nCoV is still not fully clear. Reported symptoms have ranged from little/no symptoms to a severe illness and subsequent death. A recent article describes the symptoms of 41 patients admitted to hospital with confirmed 2019-nCoV who had pneumonia with the possibility of ARDS and cardiac injury; secondary infections with death was observed in a substantial number of patients [1].

Chinese health authorities identified the new coronavirus the on 7 January 2020 and posted the full genome sequence in GenBank (the NIH genetic sequence database) which is nearly identical to the virus genetic sequence from the first US case from Washington state. This suggests a recent emergence from a virus related to the bat and SARS coronavirus.


The Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering has built, and is regularly updating, an online dashboard in order to track the worldwide spread of the coronavirus outbreak:


CDC established a 2019-nCoV Incident Management Structure on 7 January 2020. On 23 January 2020, it raised its travel alert for the coronavirus outbreak. The travel notice for Wuhan City was raised from Level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions to Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel. CDC also issued a Level 1: Practice Usual Precautions for the rest of China.



1. Huang C,  Wang Y, Xingwang L et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet 2019; DOI: https//

Updated 29 January 2020.

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