Qun Li , M.Med., Xuhua Guan , Ph.D., Peng Wu , Ph.D., Xiaoye Wang , M.P.H., Lei Zhou , M.Med., Yeqing Tong , Ph.D., Ruiqi Ren , M.Med., Kathy S.M. Leung , Ph.D., Eric H.Y. Lau , Ph.D., Jessica Y. Wong , Ph.D., Xuesen Xing , Ph.D., Nijuan Xiang , M.Med., Yang Wu , M.Sc., Chao Li , M.P.H., Qi Chen , M.Sc., Dan Li , M.P.H., Tian Liu , B.Med., Jing Zhao , M.Sc., Man Liu , M.Sc., Wenxiao Tu , M.Med., Chuding Chen , M.Sc., Lianmei Jin , M.Med., Rui Yang , M.Med., Qi Wang , M.P.H., Suhua Zhou , M.Med., Rui Wang , M.D., Hui Liu , M.Med., Yinbo Luo , M.Sc., Yuan Liu , M.Med., Ge Shao , B.Med., Huan Li , M.P.H., Zhongfa Tao , M.P.H., Yang Yang , M.Med., Zhiqiang Deng , M.Med., Boxi Liu , M.P.H., Zhitao Ma , M.Med., Yanping Zhang , M.Med., Guoqing Shi , M.P.H., Tommy T.Y. Lam , Ph.D., Joseph T. Wu , Ph.D., George F. Gao , D.Phil., Benjamin J. Cowling , Ph.D., Bo Yang , M.Sc., Gabriel M. Leung , M.D., Zijian Feng , M.Med.
26 March 2020
Keyword part (code): 18Keyword part (keyword): Infectious DiseaseKeyword part (code): 18_1Keyword part (keyword): Infectious Disease GeneralKeyword part (code): 18_6Keyword part (keyword): Viral InfectionsKeyword part (code): 18_9Keyword part (keyword): Global Health , 18, Infectious Disease, Keyword part (code): 18_1Keyword part (keyword): Infectious Disease GeneralKeyword part (code): 18_6Keyword part (keyword): Viral InfectionsKeyword part (code): 18_9Keyword part (keyword): Global Health , 18_1, Infectious Disease General, 18_6, Viral Infections, 18_9, Global Health
The initial cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)–infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019 and January 2020. We analyzed data on the first 425 confirmed cases in Wuhan to determine the epidemiologic characteristics of NCIP.
We collected information on demographic characteristics, exposure history, and illness timelines of laboratory-confirmed cases of NCIP that had been reported by January 22, 2020. We described characteristics of the cases and estimated the key epidemiologic time-delay distributions. In the early period of exponential growth, we estimated the epidemic doubling time and the basic reproductive number.
Among the first 425 patients with confirmed NCIP, the median age was 59 years and 56% were male. The majority of cases (55%) with onset before January 1, 2020, were linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, as compared with 8.6% of the subsequent cases. The mean incubation period was 5.2 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.1 to 7.0), with the 95th percentile of the distribution at 12.5 days. In its early stages, the epidemic doubled in size every 7.4 days. With a mean serial interval of 7.5 days (95% CI, 5.3 to 19), the basic reproductive number was estimated to be 2.2 (95% CI, 1.4 to 3.9).
On the basis of this information, there is evidence that human-to-human transmission has occurred among close contacts since the middle of December 2019. Considerable efforts to reduce transmission will be required to control outbreaks if similar dynamics apply elsewhere. Measures to prevent or reduce transmission should be implemented in populations at risk. (Funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and others.)