Novel #Coronavirus #Outbreak in #Wuhan, #China, 2020: Intense #Surveillance Is Vital for Preventing Sustained #Transmission in New Locations (J Clin Med., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

J Clin Med, 9 (2) 2020 Feb 11

Novel Coronavirus Outbreak in Wuhan, China, 2020: Intense Surveillance Is Vital for Preventing Sustained Transmission in New Locations

Robin N Thompson 1 2

Affiliations: 1 Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK. 2 Christ Church, University of Oxford, St Aldates, Oxford OX1 1DP, UK.

PMID: 32054124 DOI: 10.3390/jcm9020498



The outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China, has generated 24,500 confirmed cases, including 492 deaths, as of 5 February 2020. The virus (2019-nCoV) has spread elsewhere in China and to 24 countries, including South Korea, Thailand, Japan and USA. Fortunately, there has only been limited human-to-human transmission outside of China. Here, we assess the risk of sustained transmission whenever the coronavirus arrives in other countries. Data describing the times from symptom onset to hospitalisation for 47 patients infected early in the current outbreak are used to generate an estimate for the probability that an imported case is followed by sustained human-to-human transmission. Under the assumptions that the imported case is representative of the patients in China, and that the 2019-nCoV is similarly transmissible to the SARS coronavirus, the probability that an imported case is followed by sustained human-to-human transmission is 0.41 (credible interval [0.27, 0.55]). However, if the mean time from symptom onset to hospitalisation can be halved by intense surveillance, then the probability that an imported case leads to sustained transmission is only 0.012 (credible interval [0, 0.099]). This emphasises the importance of current surveillance efforts in countries around the world, to ensure that the ongoing outbreak will not become a global pandemic.

Keywords: 2019-nCoV; SARS; Wuhan; coronavirus; forecasting; infectious disease epidemiology; major outbreak; mathematical modelling.

Conflict of interest statement There are no competing interests.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum ( in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.