We’ve had our eye on a brand new, previously-unknown-to-medicine respiratory virus since we put it in our news roundup on Monday. The situation has evolved quite a bit since then, so here are the latest developments:
- The disease, a coronavirus that is spread through the air, is being called Wuhan Pneumonia, after the area of China where it was first detected. The official designation is 2019-nCov
- The virus has killed two and sickened over fifty
- There have been three cases detected outside China — two in Thailand and one in Japan. Two suspected cases have cropped up in Singapore.
- The CDC has set up screening checkpoints at three major US airports, where they’ll be taking the temperatures of travelers from Wuhan, China. (This happened with the SARS epidemic, too.)
- A brand new analysis of the outbreak suggests there may be over 1,000 infections at this point
- Substantial human-to-human transmission “cannot be ruled out”
- German scientists have already developed a quick, accurate test kit for the virus
Here is a timeline of the outbreak, so far:
No reason to worry yet, but we’ll definitely keep an eye on it. If you don’t have your flu-related preps ready — at the very least a respirator and plenty of hand sanitizer — now is the time. And by “now” I mean, “immediately,” because this situation could evolve pretty rapidly, and by the time everyone realizes they need an N95 mask, they’ll all be gone.
If you have any tips, links, or news related to this virus, please get in touch via email or the comments.