As Coronavirus Numbers Increase, New Cases Are Confirmed in Vietnam

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Since the emergence of a new respiratory coronavirus in Wuhan, central China in December 2019, cases have been identified in 23 countries including Vietnam. As with most new infections, this started with a “spillover” of a virus from the animal world to humans, with early cases centered around a seafood and live animal market in Wuhan. The animal source is still under investigation.

As of February 6, a total of 31,372 cases have been confirmed, 99 percent in China but including ten cases in Vietnam, with a global total of 638 deaths. The virus, now called 2019-nCoV, is related to what caused SARS in 2003, but so far appears more transmissible, and less lethal, although much remains to be clarified. Guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others are being widely disseminated, with aggressive control measures in affected countries to contain the spread. As with other respiratory viruses, frequent hand-washing and avoidance of close contact with others when ill with fever and cough can limit the spread. USAID, through its implementing partner WHO, is supporting Vietnam’s Ministry of Health in responding to this national and global health security emergency with technical guidance, training, and logistics support in surveillance, testing, clinical care, and prevention of new infections.

So What? The emergence of respiratory viruses with pandemic potential, such as the coronavirus, can have enormous health and economic consequences, and deserve the full attention of the medical community and the community at large.

Last updated: February 07, 2020

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