(RxWiki News) A fast-spreading coronavirus first detected in China has now reached other countries, including the United States.
This coronavirus (called 2019-nCoV) was first seen in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, but it has continued to expand.
As of Jan. 26, this outbreak had resulted in more than 2,000 reported infections and more than 50 deaths in China, as well as infections in several other countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As of publishing time, five cases had been confirmed in the US, the CDC reported. On Jan. 21, a case was reported in the US state of Washington. A second 2019-nCoV infection was reported in Illinois on Jan. 24. Cases were also confirmed in Arizona and and California. All of these cases occurred in travelers returning from Wuhan.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some of these viruses affect people, and others affect animals like camels, cats and bats.
Early on, the outbreak in China was thought to be linked to a large seafood and animal market, which led people to believe the virus was spreading from animals to people.
However, many current patients have not been around animal markets. Health experts now believe this virus is being spread from person to person. It was not clear how easily it might be spreading between people, the CDC noted.
As of publishing time, the CDC was screening passengers on direct and connecting flights from Wuhan to five major airports. These airports included Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), New York City (JFK) and San Francisco (SFO).
The agency said it will continue to provide information and guidance as it becomes available.
Speak with your health care provider if you have any questions.
Written by Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS