Outbreak of Wuhan pneumonia 2019-20 (2019-nCoV)

Outbreak of Wuhan pneumonia 2019-20 (2019-nCoV)

The recent outbreak of Wuhan pneumonia has threatened China and the nearby states. Travelers from the Wuhan city being suffered from fever and cough are on strict observations at the airports. Medical authorities in the different international airports are supervising the travelers as to prevent the spread of the epidemic in the country. According to the publication on Kathmandu post of Jan 17, 2020, a Nepali man was quarantined and was under observation at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Control Hospital, Teku. He was doing his Ph.D. in Wuhan and was 31 years old. He returned from Wuhan, China on Jan 5. Due to the respiratory problems, he visited the hospital and was admitted on Jan 13. Dr. Bashudev Pandey, who is the director at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Control told that he was under the observation for the suspected coronavirus which was recently been reported in China. According to the doctors, the health condition was improved so he was discharged. Due to lack of kit, the test couldn’t be done here in Nepal but the sample is being prepared to be transported abroad for the test.

Outbreak of Wuhan pneumonia 2019-20 (2019-nCoV)

Image Source: The Independent and The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd.

What is Wuhan pneumonia?

  • It is viral pneumonia which was first reported in Wuhan city, Hubei Province, China.  It is also called a “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV“.
  • It was reported in 2019 December in the Huanan seafood market.
  • The first death occurred on Jan 9, 2020, who was 61 years old man and second death occurred on 16 Jan 2020 who was 69-years old man. Authorities have reported it might be due to underlying health conditions.
  • The first cases were reported on 31 December 2019. The market was closed on Jan 1, 2020, and over more than 700 closed contacts are monitored.
  • According to the Japanese health ministry official, close proximity with the carrier may also transfer the disease.
  • Thailand’s Public Health Ministry reported a Chinese tourist aged 61 had viral pneumonia who was suspected of that virus.
  • Chinese scientists have isolated the 2019-nCoV which is a new Coronavirus found to be 70% similarity to SARS-CoV in genomic sequence.
  • Now the genomic sequence has been provided to GenBank.

Epidemiology (As of 26 Jan 2020)

  • In the world, there were 2124 confirmed cases with 56 deaths.
  • In China, there were 2068 confirmed cases with 56 deaths.
  • Confirmed cases in other countries:
    • Australia- 4
    • Canada- 1
    • France- 3
    • Hong Kong- 8
    • Japan- 4
    • Macau- 5
    • Malaysia- 4
    • Nepal- 1
    • Singapore- 4
    • South Korea- 3
    • Taiwan- 4
    • Thailand- 8
    • The United States- 5
    • Vietnam- 2

How is it transmitted?

  • Persons being exposed to the Huanan seafood market were likely to be affected by the virus.
  • It has spread from animal to human.
  • Though persons to person transmission have also been reported who has close proximity with the carriers.
  • Sneezing, coughing and direct contact may also transmit disease.
  • Coronavirus usually circulates among the animals like camels, cats, and bats.
  • Only in rare cases, Coronavirus has evolved to infect people and spread as MERS and SARS.
  • In 2003, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) was originated in China which killed 774 people worldwide. It was possibly originated from bats.
  • In 2012, MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) was first reported in Saudi Arabia which is believed to have spread from camels.


  • It includes fever, common cold, and cough.
  • In a few cases, difficulty in breathing has been reported.
  • Nose, sinuses, and upper throat are affected.
  • Chest radiographs have shown the invasive pneumoniae infiltrate in both lungs.

Preventive measures

  • Hand washing
  • Gargle
  • Use of mask
  • Screening of the travelers at an international airport
  • Suspected persons should  inform the medical personnel


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E2%80%9320_outbreak_of_novel_coronavirus_(2019-nCoV)
  2. https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/01/137ca54da06a-urgent-japan-confirms-1st-case-of-infection-with-new-coronavirus-from-china.html
  3. https://www.who.int/china/news/detail/09-01-2020-who-statement-regarding-cluster-of-pneumonia-cases-in-wuhan-china
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html
  5. https://kathmandupost.com/national/2020/01/13/un-health-agency-alerts-health-ministry-about-the-risk-of-transmission-of-a-new-strain-of-coronavirus

Outbreak of Wuhan pneumonia 2019-20 (2019-nCoV)

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