The CDC is making strides toward better understanding the pneumonia-like coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that originated in Wuhan, China.
The CDC has announced a second confirmed case of the world's new coronavirus in the United States, this time in Chicago. Officials said the patient, a woman aged in her 60s, is in stable condition, although she remains isolated in the hospital as a precaution.1
On Tuesday, the CDC announced that the first US case was confirmed in Washington State.2
The CDC is making strides toward better understanding the pneumonia-like coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that originated in Wuhan, China, including sequencing the entire genome, and growing the virus in cell culture.2
According to The New York Times, the virus has resulted in 26 deaths, and 830 infections in China, as of January 24.3 Chinese authorities have expanded a travel lockdown in the country to include nearly 35 million residents, banning any public transport in or out of the region.3
Clinical features of those infected included fever in 98% of patients, cough in 76%, and myalgia or fatigue in 44%. Less common symptoms included sputum production (seen in 28% of patients), headache (8%), haemoptysis (5%), and diarrhea (3%). No antiviral treatment has proven to be effective.4
The virus is especially concerning because of its person-to-person spread, which can happen on a continuum, according to the CDC.2 Patients confirmed to have the virus have reportedly experienced mild to severe respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC currently believes that symptoms may appear between 2 and 14 days after exposure, based on the incubation period of previous coronaviruses, such as MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome).4
The CDC has implemented a multi-pronged approach to the Wuhan coronovirus:2
While there is currently no vaccine for this new coronavirus, Inovio Pharmaceuticals has been awarded a $9 million grant to develop a vaccine for the virus. The grant, awarded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, will support preclinical and clinical development through Phase 1 human testing of INO-4800.5
The CDC is continuing to recommending everyday preventive actions, including hand washing, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and disinfecting touched objects and surfaces.2
This article was updated at 12:23pm, Jan 24, 2020.