I’m editing this so as to start with the most important information:
The best prevention advice is to
WASH YOUR HANDS. FREQUENTLY.
See the diary and comments for more details.
WaPo reports that we have the first US coronavirus case where the patient hasn’t recently been to China:
Federal health officials confirmed a sixth U.S. case of the Wuhan coronavirus Thursday. It’s the first time the virus has spread from person to person in the United States, marking a new phase in the U.S. response to the growing epidemic.
The patient is a Chicago resident who was infected after being in close contact with his wife, who had traveled to the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The Chicago woman was the second confirmed case in the United States.
ABCNews has also picked up the story, adding that
The World Health Organization is set to decide [today] whether to declare the new coronavirus, which has sickened thousands and sparked concern around the world, a public health emergency of international concern.
This comes after China’s admission Sunday: China says coronavirus can spread before symptoms show — calling into question US containment strategy
Some media outlets are comparing the Wuhan coronavirus to the Spanish flu pandemic, while others are saying that’s an incorrect comparison. It also appears to be the case that the coronavirus has a lower mortality rate than SARS — though it’s been difficult so far to get a clear estimate.
Meantime, the Trump maladministation gloats over the prospect of the virus’s impact: Trump's commerce secretary: Deadly coronavirus could be boon to American business
The ABCNews story (link above) does add that
On Jan. 29, President Donald Trump announced that he was forming a coronavirus task force made up of top health, transportation, and national security officials. The team will coordinate efforts to respond to coronavirus and work to prevent the virus from spreading.
Let’s just hope Wilbur Ross isn’t on the task force. This is serious stuff, folks.
In response to a question below:
For confirmed 2019-nCoV infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people being mildly sick to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.
The latest situation summary updates are available on CDC’s web page 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China.
The best prevention, per the CDC, is frequent hand-washing. This is considered more effective than face masks. (Apropos which: most face masks prevent the wearer from infecting someone else; the type of face mask that protects the wearer from being infected is thicker and more expensive. I found this out when we visited Madagascar during the plague season.)
Regarding treatment (this has been updated to be specific to this coronavirus):
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact your healthcare provider immediately.
See Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals for information on patients under investigation.