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February 4, 2020

Update and Interim Guidance on Coronavirus Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to closely monitor an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that was initially detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in December 2019.

This CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Update provides a situational update and interim guidance to state and local health departments that supersedes guidance in CDC's HAN 426 distributed on Jan. 17, 2020. It also adds:

Early in the outbreak, many of the patients with respiratory illness caused by 2019-nCoV in China had exposure to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-human transmission. More recently, cases have been confirmed with no exposure to animal markets, indicating that person-to-person spread of the virus has occurred. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China.

The first U.S. case-patient was identified on Jan. 21, 2020, and had recently traveled from Wuhan, China. Since that time, six additional cases have been confirmed in the United States, four among persons who traveled from Wuhan, and one a close contact of a confirmed case. Globally, reported illnesses in people with 2019-nCoV have ranged from mild (no or few signs and symptoms), to severe, including death. These findings are consistent with other coronaviruses, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Additional information about 2019-nCoV is needed to better understand transmission, disease severity, and risk to the general population. The goal of the ongoing U.S. public health response is to identify and contain this outbreak and prevent sustained spread of 2019-nCoV in the United States.

For the full CDC update, including recommendations for screening of patients for 2019-nCoV:

Washington state public health response to Coronavirus

Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington state public health agencies have begun mobilizing in response to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak, after one case of the virus was confirmed in a patient in Snohomish County on Jan. 21. The World Health Organization designated the virus a "public health emergency of international concern" last week, and infectious disease experts say it could soon be declared a pandemic.

A news release from Gov. Inslee's office says more than 200 people are working on tracking down contacts of those who could be infected and sharing information. At least 16 people in Washington have been tested for the virus, but so far there have been no additional cases.

The Washington State Department of Health has moved quickly to offer a resource webpage for health care providers and a fact sheet for the public, and has established a call center to address questions from the public that can be reached at 1.800.525.0127 (press #).

The DOH, in partnership with the state Emergency Management Division, has set up an emergency operations center at Camp Murray, adjacent to Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Tacoma, and the Health Care Authority, state Department of Agriculture and state Department of Fish and Wildlife are contributing to the effort, as well.

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