2019-nCOV situation: 28 January 2020

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

2019-nCOV situation: 28 January 2020

Welcome to this special issue of the newsletter where we highlight latest research and policy news and literature on 2019-nCVO situation

Please send your feedback, articles and reports, or questions you would like to share to Dr. Chadia Wannous via email  cwannous@yahoo.com  

Wishing you useful reading!


2019-nCOV Outbreak Situation

Situation updates:
China’s National Health Commission reported a total of 4,515 cases of 2019-nCoV through January 27, including nearly 1,000 severe cases and 106 deaths. Hong Kong has reported 8 cases, Macau has reported 7 cases, and Taiwan has reported 5 cases. There are an additional 6,973 suspect cases, and more than 44,000 individuals are currently being monitored.

3 medical workers diagnosed with novel coronavirus cured and discharged from hospital in Wuhan
WHO situation report no 7: 27 Jan 2020
WHO states that “Not enough is known about the epidemiology of 2019-nCoV to draw definitive conclusions about the full clinical features of disease, the intensity of the human-to-human transmission, and the original source of the outbreak.”

Nature Update 26 Jan: Coronavirus death toll continues to rise

CDC: 110 suspected nCoV cases in 26 states being probed
So far, the number of confirmed US 2019-nCoV cases remains at 5.
More »

Germany confirms first human coronavirus transmission in Europe
Man infected by colleague who appeared not to have symptoms when virus was transmitted

Japanese coach driver who met Wuhan tourists catches coronavirus: ministry
Reported Consequences of the Outbreak on Economy
Fears over the virus in China pushed U.S. markets to their worst day in months. Stocks tied to China and the travel industry were hardest hit.
Just as the world economy appeared to emerge from the uncertainty of the trade war, the spread of the dangerous coronavirus in China has pierced the calm that had settled over financial markets.
The recent slump was all the more jarring after weeks of placid trading that pushed stocks to a series of records.
Read the latest
Control Measures
WHO’s strategic objectives for this response are to:
•Limit human to human transmission including, reducing secondary infections among close contacts and health care workers, preventing transmission amplification events, and preventing further international spread from China*;
•Identify, isolate and care for patients early, including providing optimized care for infected patients;
•Identify and reduce transmission from the animal source;
•Address crucial unknowns and about clinical severity, extent of transmission and infection, treatment options, and accelerate the development of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines;
•Communicate critical risk and event information to all communities and counter misinformation;
•Minimize social and economic impact through multisectoral partnerships.
*This can be achieved through a combination of public health measures, such as rapid identification, diagnosis and management of the cases, identification and follow up of the contacts, infection prevention and control in healthcare settings, implementation of health measures for travellers, awareness raising in the population, risk communication.

Updated WHO advice for international traffic in relation to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV
As of 27 January 2020, human-to-human transmission has been confirmed largely in Wuhan city, but also some other places in China and internationally.
WHO advises that measures to limit the risk of exportation or importation of the disease should be implemented, without unnecessary restrictions of international traffic.
Conduct exit screening at international airports and ports in the affected areas, with the aims early detection of symptomatic travellers for further evaluation and treatment, and thus prevent exportation of the disease. while minimizing interference with international traffic;
The evidence from the past outbreaks shows that effectiveness of entry screening is uncertain, but it may support risk communication strategy by providing information to travellers from affected countries/areas to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections, and to seek medical attention early if they develop symptoms compatible with the infection.
A focused approach targeting direct flights from affected areas could be more effective and less resource demanding.
Countries need to take into consideration that travellers with signs and symptoms suggestive of respiratory infection may result from respiratory diseases other than 2019-nCoV, and that their follow-up may impose an additional burden on the health system. National policy and capacities should be taken into account during the decision-making process.
Facebook, Google and Twitter scramble to stop misinformation about coronavirus. 
The Washington Post
Countries measures

Chinese authorities have closed off travel into and out of the virus-hit city of Wuhan in an attempt to stop the outbreak’s spread. The mass quarantine, announced on 23 January, pens in more than 35 million people across the nation. Nature spoke to three researchers about what it’s like to be inside Wuhan right now.
(Nature, 3 min read)

Chinese premier in Wuhan, demands all-out efforts in epidemic prevention, control

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee issues circular pledging political support for battling novel coronavirus
Other Countries

CDC Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals

CDC Resources for Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals Preparing for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed 2019-nCoV
To aid healthcare professionals and hospitals, CDC has developed two checklists that identify key actions that can be taken now to enhance preparedness for potential or confirmed patients with 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

CDC Telebriefing: Update on 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

US China Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory January 27, 2020

China - Level 3: Reconsider Travel
Level 4: Do not travel to Hubei province, China due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China:

Hong Kong will limit visitors from mainland China by air, rail and ferry, a drastic escalation of concerns over the risks of the coronavirus.
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s top official, said on Tuesday that the city would sharply cut the number of visitors from mainland China in an effort to control the spread of the new coronavirus that emerged in the city of Wuhan last month.
Read the latest

African countries brace for coronavirus spread
Across Africa, countries are ramping up airport screenings of passengers arriving from China, in efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus on a continent already facing multiple outbreaks, including Ebola and measles.
Scientific publications and reports and news
Structural biologist Rolf Hilgenfeld has been working on a cure for coronaviruses since the 2002–03 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). He is making his way to the epicentre of the outbreak, the locked-down city of Wuhan, to test early-stage drug candidates in animals infected with the latest virus.
(Nature, 4 min read)
The speed and openness of the scientific response to the coronavirus has been unprecedented. Ten days after it was first reported in people, scientists in China and Australia released the virus’s genetic sequence. Within hours, research labs worldwide were putting all hands on deck to understand the disease. “This is one of the first times we’re getting to see an outbreak of a new virus and have the scientific community sharing their data almost in real time,” says molecular biologist Michael Letko. (The Washington Post | 5 min read)
Nature highlights the key things you need to know about the outbreak, and how science can help control it. (3 min video on YouTube)

Experts: nCoV spread in China's cities could trigger global epidemic
China's coronavirus outbreak total approaches 3,000 cases.
More »

Containing new coronavirus may not be feasible, experts say, as they warn of possible sustained global spread
Novel coronavirus outbreak may reach its peak in one week or about 10 days:Chinese respiratory expert
WHO Technical guidance


Training course:

WHO “Emerging respiratory viruses, including nCoV: methods for detection, prevention, response and control” now available
You can access the course through the following link:https://openwho.org/courses/introduction-to-ncov
By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the fundamental principles of emerging respiratory viruses and how to effectively respond to an outbreak.

There are two modules, as follows:

  • Module A: Introduction to Emerging respiratory viruses, including nCoV
  • Module B: Detecting Emerging respiratory viruses, including nCoV: Surveillance and Laboratory investigation

The course will take approximately 1 hour to finish.
Web: https://openwho.org



Knowledge Sharing

Thank you for reading. If you have thoughts, feedback, story ideas, or questions you would like to share or interested in partnering with us on a special event coverage, please send a note to Chadia Wannous via email cwannous@yahoo.com  


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