Novel coronavirus outbreak: an update

I posted at the beginning of last week about the emergence of the as-yet-formally-unnamed novel coronavirus that has emerged in China. At that stage, it could have been a parochial anomaly in the annals of ID history. What a difference a week makes! Now we are looking at a rapidly emerging international outbreak!

The latest WHO situation report (dated yesterday) confirms the following:

  • 581 confirmed cases, and 17 deaths (overall mortality rate = 3%).
  • 571 cases confirmed in China (mainly from Wuhan City, although many other provinces in China now have a small number of cases (see the image below).
  • Cases have also been reported from Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Taipei Municipality, USA, and the Republic of Korea; these cases all had recent travel history to Wuhan.
  • There is now clear evidence of human-to-human transmission, including family clusters without obvious links to Wuhan.
  • There have been “few” reports of hospital outbreaks or infections in healthcare workers (but “few” is not “no”…!)


In addition, the latest Promed update suggests that the very latest is 830 confirmed cases, with 259 new cases reported since yesterday. This presents a rapidly emerging picture, so watch this space…

Plenty of guidance here from PHE and others.


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