Information on Wuhan Coronavirus (WN-CoV)

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As WN-CoV has only been recently identified, there is currently limited information about the precise routes of transmission. Therefore, any guidance is based primarily on knowledge gained from other coronaviruses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV). As more information becomes available further updates will be provided as required.

Coronaviruses are mainly transmitted by large respiratory droplets and direct or indirect contact with infected secretions. They have also been detected in blood, faeces and urine and, under certain circumstances, airborne transmission is thought to have occurred from aerosolised respiratory secretions and faecal material. WHO have confirmed that WN-CoV, like both SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV can transmit from person to person.

Public Health England have classed the risk to the UK population as very low and the risk to travellers to Wuhan is deemed to be low.

Below are some key details about WN-CoV:

Causative Organism
Wuhan Coronavirus is a novel Coronavirus which has emerged in the City of Wuhan in China.
The incubation period is 14 days.

Signs and symptoms of infection
The signs and symptoms are;
· severe acute respiratory infection with clinical signs of pneumonia or acute respiratory distress.
· Fever or history of fever (>38°C) and acute respiratory infection (sudden onset of respiratory infection with shortness of breath, cough or sore throat.

There are no effective drugs or vaccination, treatment would supportive to manage the patients symptoms.

In the absence of effective drugs or a vaccine, control of this disease relies on the prompt identification, appropriate risk assessment, management and isolation of possible cases

The virus is a zoonotic virus found in various wild animals, the source is still currently being confirmed, but the outbreak has been linked to a seafood market

The microbe does not spread easily person to person.

Coronaviruses are mainly transmitted by large respiratory droplets and direct or indirect contact with infected secretions.

Preventing the Spread of Infection
Personal protective equipment (PPE) and good infection prevention and control precautions are effective at minimising risk but can never eliminate it. Standards of hand hygiene and environmental cleaning are vitally important to prevent the spread.

Coveralls, gloves, FFP3 mask and eye protection must be worn for patient care.

Ask the patient to wear a surgical mask

Vehicles will require deep cleaning with a general purpose and detergent followed by disinfection with Actichlor following transportation of these patients.

Confirmed (laboratory) cases of WN-CoV will be conveyed by HART.

Risk Groups
Patients who have respiratory symptoms and have travelled to Wuhan City within 14 days of the onset of symptoms or have had contact with a confirmed case.

If you have concerns, questions or suspect a case of WN-CoV, please contact the Clinical Advice Line on 01234 779203 - Option 1.

Updated 25 January, 2020

Published 21st January 2020

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