Monitoring Wuhan Pneumonia

January 22, 2020

UPDATE: Columbia Health continues to monitor the outbreak of pneumonia currently occurring in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This pneumonia is caused by a new coronavirus and has resulted in a growing number of confirmed cases. Symptoms of this illness include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it’s unclear how easily the virus spreads between people. Preliminary information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease from this virus. There is no current vaccine for this or other coronaviruses.

For those who are returning from Wuhan:

  • If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention. Let your doctor know immediately that you have traveled to Wuhan.
  • Travelers from Wuhan to the United States, and other countries, may be asked questions about their health and travel history upon arrival. The CDC has also implemented health screenings in NYC at JFK airport, as well as multiple other US airports, to identify possible importations of this coronavirus infection.
  • If you have been in close contact with a suspected case, contact your health care provider for guidance.

It is recommended that travelers to Wuhan practice enhanced precautions:

  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

For more information, visit the CDC information page or the WHO guidance.