2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Now is the time to do worst case planning with your medical authorities.

by Eric Holdeman / January 27, 2020

It is one thing to read about a novel coronavirus occurring in another country and watching what they are doing to prevent the spread of the disease. In this case, we should not be mildly interested; it is time for us to prepare for an onslaught of the disease right here in the United States. Imagine, if you will, what it would look like for a city the size of Chicago to shut down all public transit and flights out of and through the city. Add to that, cancelling school for a month, ending all large sporting venues from operating, etc. 

It is not too early to do some contingency planning as to the measures that might need to be taken where you are responsible for emergency management. I remember how people discounted the potential arrival of ebola here in the United States and the turmoil that the relatively few cases caused within the medical community, especially when it came to infection control.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

"2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people."

Significantly, there is this news, "Ma, the Chinese health minister, told reporters Sunday that the virus is infectious during its incubation period, meaning that a person could spread it to others before experiencing symptoms. That's a significant difference from the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus, which began in China in 2002 and spread globally, killing 774 people."  

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