Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update 1/24/20

Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update 1/24/20


The emergence of a novel disease is always a rapidly changing situation and FirstWatch will attempt to be your clearinghouse of important information for planning and on-going operational activity as well as ongoing infection prevention control for your 1st Responders, Staff and Citizens. We will provide and update information, as well as recommendations from expert governmental and public health experts, as it becomes available.  We’ll try to keep current and include the information that may have an impact on your work environment, but will also provide links that allow you to follow the information independent of us.  Rebecca Katz, PhD, MPH said the following, “In any evolving outbreak, you need to make response decisions with imperfect information.”

Here is a bulleted format for presenting some of the newer information with URL links to read the information for yourself and in greater detail. Many of the links will stay the same, even when updated, but some of them won’t.

Current Situation in China:
1303 Confirmed Cases out of 1965 Suspected Cases; 38 are listed as Cured
41 have died; all but 2 from Hubei Province (38 from Wuhan); about 25% have severe infections.
85% of those infected had no contact with the Wuhan Market and multiple generation spread person to person is said to have occurred.  17 healthcare workers have been diagnosed with the virus; one of them was severely ill.  More and more cities and provinces report first cases, and some, continued person-to-person transmission.

Containment Efforts in China:
China has taken severe measures in trying to contain the virus by stopping transportation into or out of Wuhan by public transportation or car hailing and all flights and trains.  People have been ordered to wear masks and asked to stay home.  Businesses and other gathering spots have been closed.  People are told to leave only if absolutely essential.  At least 11 more Chinese cities have the same type of restrictions.  Disneyland in Shanghai has been shut down until further notice and many or all of Lunar New Year activities have been canceled.

Infrared thermometers are being used at airports, train stations, long distance buses and ferry ports to find travelers with fevers. If found, they are removed and quarantined.

Cases Outside of Mainland China:
Globally, there have been at least 29 cases of 2019-nCoV outside of Mainland China including Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and France with 3 or more cases each; Nepal reported cases but without details; and the rest of the countries had 1 or 2 cases:  Macao, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and the US.  Most of these exposures had traveled to Wuhan, but many denied contact with animal markets and/or sick contacts; a few displayed family or contact spread leading to an announcement of likely person-to-person spread – not limited.

The Situation in the US:  There are now two confirmed novel coronaviruses imported from Wuhan, China; one in Seattle and the other in Chicago.  The CDC also said that there are 63 suspect cases amongst 22 states.  Eleven (11) people have tested negative.  The CDC reminds Americans to monitor themselves upon their return from China, particularly Wuhan, and with the appearance of any symptoms, alert your physician or other health care provider before visiting them and wear a surgical mask to protect others when traveling to a health care facility, including a doctor’s office.

Risk Assessment:  

The WHO assesses risk in China & at the Regional level as high; while moderate globally

The CDC assess the risk to the American public to be low; both the WHO and CDC say the risk assessment could change and it is likely that person to person spread will continue.

UN/WHO Emergency Committee met for two days and declined to make the Novel Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), but said they were monitoring the situation and could reconvene at a moment’s notice.  They did state that China had a public health crisis.

Useful Links:

International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) Recommendations for Emergency Communication Centers:

CDC Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Home Page with Links to Many Resources:

WHO 2019-nCoV Situation Update for 1/24/20:

CDC Media Release on 2nd U.S. Patient Confirmed with 2019-nCoV 1/24/20:

CDC Media Page with Links on 2019-nCoV:

Homeland Security Today News Report on Screening of Passengers at 5 US Airports and Rerouting All Passengers Coming from Wuhan Through Them:

US State Department Announcement of Level 4 Travel Ban to Wuhan, China & Level 2 Elsewhere in China:

CDC Avoid Non-Essential Travel to Wuhan (Level 3) & Level 1 for the Rest of China: 

WHO Report on Results & Transcripts from Emergency Committee Meetings:

Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection Home Page with Links to Case Lists and Other Info:

ABC News Report on 3 Patients with 2019-nCoV Patient in France; 1st in Europe:

Research Article by the Eurosurveillance on the Characteristics of 2019-nCoV:


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