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Coronavirus Update

February 4, 2020

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Purpose: To share clarifying information with CAP personnel about the current status of hundreds of cases of the Novel Coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and five cases in the U.S. (2 x CA, 1 x IL, 1 x AZ, 1 x WA) as of 2100 EST 28JAN20.


Bottom Line: 

  • This virus represents a LOW RISK to US persons.

  • The virus produces fever, cough, and difficulty breathing and can be spread from person-to-person; however, the level of contact needed to transmit the virus between people is unknown at this time.

  • There are hundreds of cases of Novel Coronavirus in China and those who are older and have chronic conditions appear to be at greater risk for severe symptoms.

  • It is spread from ill people through close contact; prevention is the cornerstone - wash hands frequently, don’t touch your face, stay away from the ill, and sanitize community areas frequently.

Background: Coronavirus is a virus that causes a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. This Coronavirus in China is a new type of coronavirus, but is similar to other well studied Coronaviruses.

Catching Coronavirus: It is spread from ill people to others through close contact, such as caring for or living with an infected person

Information from current CDC press release

Travel health notice: CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel to China at this time and recommends travelers pay special attention to their health and see a healthcare professional if they travelled to China and develop a fever and difficulty breathing within 14 days of returning. More information can be found at: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/novelcoronavirus-wuhan-china

Way Forward : While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time, there are simple daily precautions that everyone should always take. It is currently flu and respiratory disease season, and CDC recommends getting vaccinated, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed. US public health personnel are coordinating and sharing information, and CAP Health Service personnel may monitor public websites for updates.

Public Health Message: People should frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or hand sanitizer when soap and water is unavailable), avoid close contact with the sick, call a healthcare provider if you develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of travelling to the Hubei Province or being in close contact with someone who had recent travel to Hubei Province, and frequently sanitize community areas to reduce risk.


Current Risk = LOW.


For More Information:

Prepared by:

Lt Col Thomas J. Janisko, CAP

CAP Health Service Senior Program Manager



Lt Col Stephen L. Leighton, CAP

CAP Health Service Assistant Senior Program Manager


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