What are the epidemiological characteristics of the newly identified 2019-nCoV? Here are some observations from the first three weeks of the outbreak
A paper published on Eurosurveillance by HKU SPH researchers amidst the early outbreak of novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China assessed the preliminary epidemiological characteristics of this newly identified 2019-nCoV. Using publicly available information, the research team identified several possible episodes of human-to-human transmission, providing early indication of the potential for human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus. The team also estimated the risk of fatality among hospitalized cases, which was around 14% based on the outcomes reported for 29 cases on January 21, 2020. Finally, they compared two hypothetical scenarios as potential explanations for the characteristics of the current outbreak and noted that although early observations appear to support the scenario of one large spillover of zoonotic infections, support for the second scenario, which is a small zoonotic spillover event followed by efficient human-to-human transmission will increase if contact tracing or medical surveillance was incomplete.
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