Cases of the novel Wuhan coronavirus remain anchored in contact with the city of Wuhan in Hubei province.
When that changes and we see human-to-human (h2h) spread occur outside of Wuhan, that will be a sign that yet another level has been achieved.
We can see the strong linkage in the excellent and frequently updated data produced by Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) page, Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent. In particular the Countries/areas with possible community transmission of novel coronavirus infection PDF.
Perhaps this outbreak was originally due to some animal and event at the Huanan seafood market but now the World Health Organization has dropped a giant bombshell on us in the form of a dramatic shift in language.
As of today, the WHO is indicating that at least some of the nearly triple-digit new case numbers being added each night are due to sustained human-to-human transmission. That means a known infected person infects another person who infects another and so on, in a chain that doesn’t require close and prolonged contact. Transmission is now considered to be happening more easily.
Today my biggest question has been whether we have we ever contained an efficiently transmitting respiratory virus?
These language changes have occurred without any decent evidence pool for the word to review. Hopefully, the expert panel called to consider declaring a public health emergency – which they very well may do – will see this evidence and talk more openly about what it means than WHO has thus far.
- Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent
- Countries/areas with possible community transmission of novel coronavirus infection