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This is a rapidly evolving situation. Last updated Wednesday, April 8, 2020.
The "2019 novel coronavirus" (COVID-19) is a new coronavirus and the responsible agent for an outbreak of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. COVID-19 was initially reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019 with links to a large seafood and animal market; now person-to-person spread is being reported. The virus is transmitted via infectious secretions (respiratory droplets, sputum, serum, or blood) between individuals in close contact (within about 6 feet). It is possible that, in addition, the virus can be transmitted by saliva, urine, and stool.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
The situation is rapidly evolving. There have been more than 1.4 million confirmed human infections worldwide and more than 83,000 deaths as of April 8, 2020. Cases have been confirmed in nearly every country. For an up-to-date heat map of global cases, click here.
The CDC criteria is as follows as of April 2, 2020.
PRIORITY 1 – Ensure optimal care options for all hospitalized patients, lessen the risk of nosocomial infections, and maintain the integrity of the health care system.
PRIORITY 2 – Ensure that those who are at highest risk of complication of infection are rapidly identified and appropriately triaged.
PRIORITY 3 – As resources allow, test individuals in the surrounding community of rapidly increasing hospital cases to decrease community spread and ensure health of essential workers.
NON-PRIORITY – Individuals without symptoms.
Note: Fever may not be present in some patients, such as those who are very young, elderly, immunosuppressed, or taking certain fever-lowering medications. Clinical judgment should be used.
The differential diagnosis of COVID-19 includes other etiologies of lower respiratory tract infection.
Bacterial pneumonia, eg:
Atypical bacterial pneumonia, eg:
If you suspect COVID-19:
Immediately notify infection control at your institution and the local or state health department in the event of a PUI for COVID-19.
No vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19 is available; care is supportive.
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