Jump to content

Wuhan Coronavirus: Month Two

Nurses Article Video News   (1,135 Views | 8 Replies | 916 Words)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

18 Followers; 103 Articles; 234,699 Profile Views; 2,059 Posts

What Do We Know So Far About the Wuhan Coronavirus?

Are we on the cusp of a global pandemic or will this be contained? It's too early to tell but the world is watching China and the CDC is closely monitoring the evolving situation.

Wuhan Coronavirus: Month Two

Month 2 of Coronavirus 

The first case was detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, on December 12, 2019. Today is more than one month into the outbreak, with 56 deaths, 2,000 confirmed cases, and the world watching apprehensively.

The numbers are changing hourly in this rapidly evolving situation. More cases are likely to be identified in the coming days. Sources say  another 1,000 cases are expected in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

Many of us recall the Ebola scare and fear, and before that, the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).  We're on edge because a pandemic could  happen. Science fiction movies predicting the end of the world due to fast-spreading deadly diseases strike a chord because it’s not outside the realm of possibility. This new virus, the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), is one of a large group of coronaviruses that infect animals and the humans who consume the infected animals.

From there, the virus evolves to person-to-person transmission. Some experts are calling for world-wide bans on wildlife trafficking and markets that feature wild and exotic animals for sale, such as anteaters and tortoises, considered delicacies in some regions.

The fact that the 2019-nCoV coronavirus originated in China is not reassuring to many. A memory mistrust of China’s willingness to be transparent when the SARS epidemic struck still exists and causes unease along with the knowledge that, virus-wise, the planet is small and we are all easily connected. China kept news about SARS under the radar for the first few months of the outbreak. However, this time they are trying to handle things differently and overcome their lingering negative public image. 

Worldwide

Cases have been confirmed in 10 countries including Australia, Canada (presumptive case), France, Japan and several other Asian countries.

The youngest so far is a nine-month-old baby in Bejing. The United States now has 5 confirmed infections- the most recent in California and Arizona. They are all reported as either hospitalized or having received medical attention, and in good condition. 

How is it transmitted?

The virus is spread through close human contact (close meaning within 6 feet), though the CDC has not yet confirmed that it’s spread through respiratory droplets (as is the flu). The CDC is saying that “transmission dynamics have yet to be determined”. The risk assessment is changing daily, and the CDC is closely monitoring the evolving situation.

Similar viruses are transmitted by contact with high-touch objects such as doorknobs and elevator buttons. Touching a contaminated object and then touching one's face, eyes, nose or mouth can lead to infection. 

The incubation period is believed to be 10-14 days, but again, information is being updated regularly. A recent announcement is that persons may be contagious before they develop symptoms, meaning the virus spreads far more quickly than previously expected. The “walking infected” make it more difficult to contain the virus and prevent transmission. Scientists say each infected person may infect 2-3 other people.

Prevention and Precautions

  • Wash your hands often. Use friction and rub all surfaces, including between the fingers. 
  • Avoid crowded places and avoid unnecessary travel, especially to China. Cough etiquette and hand hygiene are the most effective preventative measures.
  • Healthcare personnel should use standard precautions, eye protection, airborne precautions and contact precautions. Airborne precautions include an N-95 respirator and a negative-pressure room if available.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, although a fever may not be present in all infected persons. It can lead to pneumonia and death. Some people experience mild symptoms, while others become seriously ill.

Diagnosis

At this time in the U.S., diagnostic testing is only being conducted by the CDC. Cultures are sent to the CDC while the person remains a person under investigation (PUI) until the disease is ruled out. Treatment is supportive.

Chinese Control Measures

Within China, some local governments have mandated the use of masks to be worn in public, but enough masks cannot be manufactured quickly enough to meet the need. A hospital is being constructed in Wuhan to house/quarantine patients. 

Cars have been ordered off the streets in Wuhan. Roads are quiet and the town resembles a ghost town with citizens staying off the roads and inside. Reopening of schools and universities has been postponed indefinitely and events cancelled.

The city has imposed bans on citizens leaving the city. Several other cities in Hubei province are under full or partial lockdown. Citizens are worried that there may be shortages, and are trying to stock up on food and supplies. Long-distance buses are banned from Bejing and Shanghai.

Scientists are working around the clock to develop a vaccine. With earlier recognition than took place with SARS, some are predicting a better outcome with fewer deaths. SARS ultimately was responsible for 800 deaths.

Is your hospital or facility putting any plans in place yet? Do you think it's necessary, or is it better to take a wait and see approach?

Best,

Nurse Beth

Author, Your Last Nursing Class-how to land your first nursing job...and your next! 

 

Hi! Nice to meet you! I love helping new nurses in all my various roles. I work in a hospital in Staff Development, and am a blogger and author.

18 Followers; 103 Articles; 234,699 Profile Views; 2,059 Posts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tnbutterfly - Mary is a BSN, RN and specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

14 Followers; 124 Articles; 5,509 Posts; 198,476 Profile Views

Thanks for the informative article, Nurse Beth.

Here is an update on stats and information:

  • 2,700 confirmed Wuhan Coronavirus cases
  • 80 deaths

In all, more than 100 patients are under investigation over provider concerns they could have the virus, and 26 of those cases have since been ruled out through diagnostic tests.

For more information go to CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aliens05 has 2 years experience as a ASN.

138 Posts; 2,040 Profile Views

Has it been confirmed yet if this started with consumption of a snake or a bat? I have heard both in different articles, but wasn't sure if they ever confirmed or denied one or the other.

It seems likely that this also could have originated from the process of skinning or cutting up an infected animal in an open air market and proceeded to release the droplets in the vicinity and in turn infect someone near to this activity. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tnbutterfly - Mary is a BSN, RN and specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

14 Followers; 124 Articles; 5,509 Posts; 198,476 Profile Views

10 minutes ago, Aliens05 said:

Has it been confirmed yet if this started with consumption of a snake or a bat? I have heard both in different articles, but wasn't sure if they ever confirmed or denied one or the other.

It seems likely that this also could have originated from the process of skinning or cutting up an infected animal in an open air market and proceeded to release the droplets in the vicinity and in turn infect someone near to this activity. 

Here is the statement from the CDC

Q: What is the source of 2019 Novel Coronavirus?

A: Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of the 2019-nCoV. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting the virus likely emerged from an animal source. Analysis of the genetic tree of this virus is ongoing to know the specific source of the virus. SARS, another coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from civit cats, while MERS, another coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from camels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

klone has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

4 Followers; 13,499 Posts; 117,312 Profile Views

Lest we lose perspective, I think we should all keep in mind that between 10,000-20,000 people worldwide have died this year from influenza.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SummitRN has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU + Infection Prevention.

2 Articles; 1,534 Posts; 30,673 Profile Views

On 1/27/2020 at 12:59 PM, klone said:

Lest we lose perspective, I think we should all keep in mind that between 10,000-20,000 people worldwide have died this year from influenza.

The problem is this:

If public health measures succeed, this will kill dozens or hundreds.

If public health measures fail and there is a global pandemic, this could kill tens of millions.

That is why China is willing to quarantine 65+ million people, shut down their factories and markets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

202 Posts; 1,257 Profile Views

We are seeing patients taking handfuls of masks if kept out in the clinics.  We are currently unable to order surgical masks (obviously, these are going to the hospitals first). I'm concerned about the medication supply chain from China drying up.  "The University of Minnesota has identified 153 critical lifesaving drugs for all types of diseases frequently used in the United States, without which patients would die within hours. All are generic and many, or their active pharmaceutical ingredients, are manufactured in China". 

https://time.com/5777923/america-prepared-pandemic-coronavirus/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

202 Posts; 1,257 Profile Views

On 1/27/2020 at 11:59 AM, klone said:

Lest we lose perspective, I think we should all keep in mind that between 10,000-20,000 people worldwide have died this year from influenza.

I don't think anyone who visits this website has lost perspective. Influenza is predictable and we can be immunized for flu. Fear about 2019-nCoV stems from the unknown. It's way too early to say how many will eventually die from this new virus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.