The outbreak of respiratory illness caused by 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, has continued to spread after first being detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
As of Jan. 26, the Center for Disease Control has confirmed cases in the following locations: China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, and the U.S.
The first U.S case was announced on Jan. 21, in Washington State. The patient had returned from Wuhan on Jan. 15, according to the CDC.
Other reports from the CDC’s profile of 2019-nCoV, show that many early patients were connected to a seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-human transmission. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, according to Stanford University’s Health Alerts. Two newer coronaviruses, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, frequently cause severe illness.
SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, was first detected in China in November 2002, according to the World Health Organization. There has not been a known case of SARS-CoV infection since 2004.
MERS-CoV, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, was first detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012, according to WHO. Cases have been declining since 2016.
As of Jan. 26, the CDC has issued a Warning – level 3 travel notice for Hubei Province, China, including Wuhan.The CDC issues three levels of travel notices for any location. level one advises travelers to practice usual precautions, level two recommends enhanced precautions, and level three advises avoidance of all nonessential travel to that location.
As of Jan. 26, no travel notices had been issued for the U.S.
Rodney Bowers, Florida Tech’s dean of students, sent out an email advising any students who felt ill after traveling to China, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan or South Korea to notify their medical provider of their travel and symptoms immediately.
The CDC states that the situation regarding the virus is “rapidly evolving” and that information on the outbreak will be updated as it becomes available.