Chinese health authorities release nCoV-2019 full genome; transparency facilitates global biosurveillance efforts.
On January 11, 2020, Chinese health authorities preliminarily identified more than 40 human infections with a novel coronavirus in an outbreak of pneumonia under investigation in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Chinese health authorities subsequently posted the full genome of the so-called “novel coronavirus 2019” or “nCoV-2019” in GenBank ®, the NIH genetic sequence database. Subsequently, on January 13, Thailand confirmed detection of a human infection with nCoV-2019 in a traveler from Wuhan City to Thailand.
There is no public information on the exact source of the infection of the patient in Thailand beyond travel from Wuhan.
Access to the full genetic sequence of novel coronavirus 2019 will facilitate identification of infections with this virus going forward. It is possible that more cases will be identified in the coming days. This is an ongoing investigation and so far, there have been no confirmed reports of person-to-person spread with this virus, however, given what has occurred previously with MERS and SARS, some limited person-to-person spread would not be surprising.U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with MERS and SARS. The outbreak in Wuhan, China has been reported to be linked to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic origin to the outbreak.CDC is closely monitoring this situation and is working with WHO.
CDC laboratories currently have the capacity to detect nCoV-2019 by sequencing virus isolates and comparing the sequences against the genetic sequence posted in GenBank. CDC also is using the genetic sequence data provided by China to begin work on a test to detect this virus more easily. Currently, testing for this virus must take place at CDC.
The U.S. CDC has established an Incident Management Structure to optimize domestic and international coordination to this emerging public health threat and issued an interim Health Alert Notice (HAN) Advisory to inform state and local health departments and health care providers about this outbreak.
The World Health Organization has a number of resources for health care workers available, including:
- Laboratory testing of human suspected cases of novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection
- Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected
- Risk communication and community engagement readiness and initial response for novel coronaviruses (nCoV) Interim guidance v1 January 2020
- Clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected Interim guidance 12 January 2020
Please visit the World Health Organization Coronavirus resource page for the latest information.