A patient in Thailand is being treated for a novel coronavirus that has been linked to an outbreak of pneumonia in China, according to WHO. Thai officials have identified the patient as a traveler from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak is taking place.
According to WHO, there have been 41 confirmed cases of infection with the novel strain of coronavirus — down from the 59 cases initially reported by Chinese authorities last week. Among these cases, one person has died, according to WHO, which noted that the deceased patient had serious underlying medical conditions.
Authorities reported that there have been no new cases detected in Wuhan since Jan. 3. However, the traveler in Thailand was identified and hospitalized on Jan. 8. Given this development, WHO said Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, MSc, may call a meeting of the Emergency Committee, which could declare a global public health emergency and make temporary recommendations for the affected countries, if necessary.
Wuhan officials said the outbreak began between Dec. 12 and Dec. 29, with evidence suggesting that it is associated with a local seafood market — which has since been closed for disinfecting.
According to WHO, seven patients remain severely ill and six others have been discharged from the hospital. So far, officials said there has been no evidence of human-to-human transmission, although at least 763 people who have had close contact with infected patients are under close medical observation.
The risk to the United States is low, said Nancy Messonnier, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. – by Caitlyn Stulpin
WHO. Novel Coronavirus — China. https://www.who.int/csr/don/12-january-2020-novel-coronavirus-china/en/. Accessed January 13, 2020.
WHO. WHO statement on novel coronavirus in Thailand. https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/13-01-2020-who-statement-on-novel-coronavirus-in-thailand. Accessed on January 13, 2020.
Disclosures: Messonnier reports no relevant financial disclosures.