Notify Staff of Recent China Travels

Isolate people matching the 2019-nCoV evaluation criteria since the clinical presentation can vary suggests the CDC

doctor talking to nurse

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offered an update regarding the Novel Coronavirus outbreak in China and in the USA.

On February 3, 2020, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, conducted a telebriefing at 11:30 am EST, clarifying various responses to the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

As of today, the CDC reported 11 confirmed cases in the USA and another 82 specimens awaiting testing by the CDC.

The CDC confirmed that the 2019-nCoV has spread between people in the USA. Previously, all of the confirmed cases had been associated with travel to China.

This latest 2019-nCoV patient had no history of travel to China but shared a household with the patient diagnosed with a 2019-nCoV infection on January 21, 2020.

The 2nd focus from today’s CDC call was on the rapid isolation of prospective 2019-nCoV patients and the protection options for healthcare staff.

The CDC and other health agencies are assuming that 2019-nCoV, like other coronaviruses, will in most cases be transmitted from person to person through droplet infection.

This means the best policy should be isolating a person who fits the 2019-nCoV evaluation criteria.

Furthermore, the clinical presentation of 2019 nCoV infections can vary.

Infections range from an asymptomatic person who may have been identified during a routine examination to a patient with very severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, and multi-organ failure.

“Any new virus such as a Coronavirus that causes illness in humans is scary because our immune system has never been exposed to it through a vaccine or natural disease,” said Crockett Tidwell RPh, CDE, United Supermarkets Pharmacy.

“By the time our bodies take steps to fight a new virus, you may already be very sick.”

“People in the USA shouldn't panic but they should use common sense.”

“Stay home if you are sick, so you don't spread illness.”

“And, when you visit a doctor, nurse or pharmacists, ensure to tell them about any recent international travel or if you have had contact with someone that has recently traveled to China,” concluded Tidwell.

To reduce the potential for spreading of the 2019-nCoV, the CDC began quarantining certain United States citizens and visitors to the USA on January 29, 2020. 

And, on February 2, 2020, the Acting Homeland Secretary Chad F. Wolf issued instructions supplementing a decision issued on January 31, 2020, and directed all flights from China and all passengers who have traveled to China within the last 14 days to be routed through one of 8 airports in the USA.

Three additional airports will be added to the list of airports authorized to receive such flights.

At these 11 airports, the United States Government has established enhanced screening procedures and the capacity to quarantine passengers, if needed.

The CDC said the quarantine period could last 14 days from when the person left China.

‘This unusual action is a precautionary and preventive step to maximize the containment of the virus in the interest of the health of the American public,’ said the CDC.

As of early February 2020, there are no vaccines or specific treatments available for 2019-nCoV infections.

Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV news is published by Coronavirus Today.com.