Wuhan Coronavirus - What You Should Know

What is the Coronavirus?

2019-nCoV (2019 Novel Coronavirus or “Wuhan coronavirus”) is a respiratory infection caused by a newly identified member of the coronavirus family. Other members of this family include SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome virus) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). The first cases of infection with this virus were identified in Wuhan City, China.

How is it Transmitted?

Although research is ongoing, the 2019-nCoV appears to be spread by respiratory droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes; however, other modes of transmission (eg, airborne and contact) have not been ruled out.

Many patients in the outbreak in Wuhan reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, suggesting person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it is unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. The latest situation summary updates are available on CDC’s web site 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China.


Symptoms of the 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. They include fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness (eg, cough, difficulty breathing).

Risk factors

Risk factors for the 2019-nCoV are present when the patient, in the 14 days prior to symptom onset, has had:

  • A history of travel from Wuhan City, China
  • Close contact with a person with suspected 2019-nCoV during that person’s illness
  • Close contact with a symptomatic laboratory-confirmed case of 2019-nCoV

Close contact includes being within the care area of a patient for a prolonged period while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment or having direct contact with infectious secretions while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.


Currently there is no vaccine for 2019-nCoV infection.

January 31, 2020