2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update
What is 2019 Novel Coronavirus – 2019-nCoV
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are closely monitoring an on-going outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, China. Cases have been identified in multiple countries, including the United States. Coronaviruses are not a new family of viruses and are common in different species of animals including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.1 In humans, there are multiple strains that can cause mild respiratory symptoms or even the common cold. In years’ prior, other strains have been associated with SARS and MERS.
According to the CDC, early cases of 2019-nCoV identified a link to a large seafood and live animal market suggesting emergence from an animal reservoir and animal-to-person transmission. However, subsequent patients reporting no exposure to animal markets indicates person-to-person transmission. It is unclear how and how easily 2019-nCoV is spread.2
Information that remains under investigation includes the exact mode(s) of transmission, potential for the virus to spread in the absence of symptoms, and the duration of viral shedding. Symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV include mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath.3 The CDC believes the incubation period lasts 2-14 days after exposure based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.4 However, limited information is available on the full scope of the illness associated with this novel coronavirus.
While the overall risk to the American public is low, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has activated travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine protocols to minimize the risk of exposure to 2019-nCoV. The American Nurses Association supports ongoing efforts in the investigation, monitoring, and research of 2019-nCoV along with the development of diagnostic criteria and tools, therapeutic treatment modalities, and prevention efforts to minimize further risk to the global population’s health. As the situation continues to rapidly evolve, ANA will continue to closely monitor the outbreak.