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      Pattern of early human-to-human transmission of Wuhan 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), December 2019 to January 2020


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          Since December 2019, China has been experiencing a large outbreak of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which can cause respiratory disease and severe pneumonia. We estimated the basic reproduction number R 0 of 2019-nCoV to be around 2.2 (90% high density interval: 1.4–3.8), indicating the potential for sustained human-to-human transmission. Transmission characteristics appear to be of similar magnitude to severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and pandemic influenza, indicating a risk of global spread.

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          A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster

          Summary Background An ongoing outbreak of pneumonia associated with a novel coronavirus was reported in Wuhan city, Hubei province, China. Affected patients were geographically linked with a local wet market as a potential source. No data on person-to-person or nosocomial transmission have been published to date. Methods In this study, we report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, radiological, and microbiological findings of five patients in a family cluster who presented with unexplained pneumonia after returning to Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China, after a visit to Wuhan, and an additional family member who did not travel to Wuhan. Phylogenetic analysis of genetic sequences from these patients were done. Findings From Jan 10, 2020, we enrolled a family of six patients who travelled to Wuhan from Shenzhen between Dec 29, 2019 and Jan 4, 2020. Of six family members who travelled to Wuhan, five were identified as infected with the novel coronavirus. Additionally, one family member, who did not travel to Wuhan, became infected with the virus after several days of contact with four of the family members. None of the family members had contacts with Wuhan markets or animals, although two had visited a Wuhan hospital. Five family members (aged 36–66 years) presented with fever, upper or lower respiratory tract symptoms, or diarrhoea, or a combination of these 3–6 days after exposure. They presented to our hospital (The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen) 6–10 days after symptom onset. They and one asymptomatic child (aged 10 years) had radiological ground-glass lung opacities. Older patients (aged >60 years) had more systemic symptoms, extensive radiological ground-glass lung changes, lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia, and increased C-reactive protein and lactate dehydrogenase levels. The nasopharyngeal or throat swabs of these six patients were negative for known respiratory microbes by point-of-care multiplex RT-PCR, but five patients (four adults and the child) were RT-PCR positive for genes encoding the internal RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and surface Spike protein of this novel coronavirus, which were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of these five patients' RT-PCR amplicons and two full genomes by next-generation sequencing showed that this is a novel coronavirus, which is closest to the bat severe acute respiatory syndrome (SARS)-related coronaviruses found in Chinese horseshoe bats. Interpretation Our findings are consistent with person-to-person transmission of this novel coronavirus in hospital and family settings, and the reports of infected travellers in other geographical regions. Funding The Shaw Foundation Hong Kong, Michael Seak-Kan Tong, Respiratory Viral Research Foundation Limited, Hui Ming, Hui Hoy and Chow Sin Lan Charity Fund Limited, Marina Man-Wai Lee, the Hong Kong Hainan Commercial Association South China Microbiology Research Fund, Sanming Project of Medicine (Shenzhen), and High Level-Hospital Program (Guangdong Health Commission).
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            Hospital Outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

            In September 2012, the World Health Organization reported the first cases of pneumonia caused by the novel Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). We describe a cluster of health care-acquired MERS-CoV infections. Medical records were reviewed for clinical and demographic information and determination of potential contacts and exposures. Case patients and contacts were interviewed. The incubation period and serial interval (the time between the successive onset of symptoms in a chain of transmission) were estimated. Viral RNA was sequenced. Between April 1 and May 23, 2013, a total of 23 cases of MERS-CoV infection were reported in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. Symptoms included fever in 20 patients (87%), cough in 20 (87%), shortness of breath in 11 (48%), and gastrointestinal symptoms in 8 (35%); 20 patients (87%) presented with abnormal chest radiographs. As of June 12, a total of 15 patients (65%) had died, 6 (26%) had recovered, and 2 (9%) remained hospitalized. The median incubation period was 5.2 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.9 to 14.7), and the serial interval was 7.6 days (95% CI, 2.5 to 23.1). A total of 21 of the 23 cases were acquired by person-to-person transmission in hemodialysis units, intensive care units, or in-patient units in three different health care facilities. Sequencing data from four isolates revealed a single monophyletic clade. Among 217 household contacts and more than 200 health care worker contacts whom we identified, MERS-CoV infection developed in 5 family members (3 with laboratory-confirmed cases) and in 2 health care workers (both with laboratory-confirmed cases). Person-to-person transmission of MERS-CoV can occur in health care settings and may be associated with considerable morbidity. Surveillance and infection-control measures are critical to a global public health response.
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              Interhuman transmissibility of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus: estimation of pandemic risk

              Summary Background The new Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection shares many clinical, epidemiological, and virological similarities with that of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV. We aimed to estimate virus transmissibility and the epidemic potential of MERS-CoV, and to compare the results with similar findings obtained for prepandemic SARS. Methods We retrieved data for MERS-CoV clusters from the WHO summary and subsequent reports, and published descriptions of cases, and took into account 55 of the 64 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV reported as of June 21, 2013, excluding cases notified in the previous 2 weeks. To assess the interhuman transmissibility of MERS-CoV, we used Bayesian analysis to estimate the basic reproduction number (R0) and compared it to that of prepandemic SARS. We considered two scenarios, depending on the interpretation of the MERS-CoV cluster-size data. Results With our most pessimistic scenario (scenario 2), we estimated MERS-CoV R0 to be 0·69 (95% CI 0·50–0·92); by contrast, the R0 for prepandemic SARS-CoV was 0·80 (0·54–1·13). Our optimistic scenario (scenario 1) yielded a MERS-CoV R0 of 0·60 (0·42–0·80). Because of recent implementation of effective contact tracing and isolation procedures, further MERS-CoV transmission data might no longer describe an entire cluster, but only secondary infections directly caused by the index patient. Hence, we calculated that, under scenario 2, eight or more secondary infections caused by the next index patient would translate into a 5% or higher chance that the revised MERS-CoV R0 would exceed 1—ie, that MERS-CoV might have pandemic potential. Interpretation Our analysis suggests that MERS-CoV does not yet have pandemic potential. We recommend enhanced surveillance, active contact tracing, and vigorous searches for the MERS-CoV animal hosts and transmission routes to human beings. Funding Agence Nationale de la Recherche (Labex Integrative Biology of Emerging Infectious Diseases), and the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme project PREDEMICS.

                Author and article information

                Euro Surveill
                Euro Surveill
                European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
                30 January 2020
                : 25
                : 4
                [1 ]Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
                Author notes

                Correspondence: Julien Riou ( julien.riou@ 123456ispm.unibe.ch )

                2000058 2000058
                This article is copyright of the authors or their affiliated institutions, 2020.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) Licence. You may share and adapt the material, but must give appropriate credit to the source, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if changes were made.

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