The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today updated its guidance on detecting novel coronavirus (NCoV) infections, based on the latest developments.
Yesterday the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed another infection from Saudi Arabia, pushing the global number of cases to 14, including 8 deaths. So far no cases have been detected in the United States.
However, the CDC said in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) today that details surrounding a recent case cluster in England prompted the agency to update its guidance for US clinicians. It said the cluster shows the first clear evidence of human-to-human spread, involved a co-infection (with influenza A), and revealed that some patients can have mild disease.
Patients who get sick with a severe lower respiratory illness within 10 days of traveling to the Arabian Peninsula or surrounding countries should continue to be evaluated, and those whose illnesses are unexplained or meet other investigation criteria should be reported to the CDC through local or state health departments, the guidance says.
Patients meeting similar criteria who aren't responding to known infections should also be considered for NCoV infection, the CDC said. Those who have severe infections and are close contacts of sick travelers who have a recent history of visiting Arabian Peninsula region countries should also be evaluated for the new disease.
The agency urged clinicians to check its coronavirus Web site for potentially frequent guidance updates.