Coronaviruses are composed of enveloped virions that contain a positive strand RNA genome. Human coronaviruses may cause the common cold or severe respiratory illness. In 2002 the SARS coronavirus emerged in China and spread globally, infecting over 8000 individuals and killing more than 900.

“On Tuesday, January 21, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first U.S. case of a coronavirus (2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV) that originated last month in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The patient had returned to Washington State last week from a trip to Wuhan, where 300 confirmed infections and several deaths have occurred. Thailand, Japan, and South Korea have also reported a handful of cases, all connected to travel from Wuhan. [January 24 update: A second U.S. case has been confirmed in Chicago, Illinois, and three cases have been confirmed in France.].

On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General declared that the 2019-nCoV outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. On January 31, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary declared a U.S. public health emergency to respond to 2019-nCoV.§ Also on January 31, the president of the United States signed a “Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus,” which limits entry into the United States of persons who traveled to mainland China to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and their families.” USA Citizen Protection

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Reports suggest that 2019-nCoV was initially spread from animal-to-person. Currently, there are growing indications that there is limited person-to-person spread, though it is unclear how easily this may be happening.”



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