Yale - Tulane Virtual Medical Opertions Center (VMOC)    


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At the end of December 2019, Chinese public health authorities reported several cases of acute respiratory syndrome in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China. Chinese scientists soon identified a novel coronavirus as the main causative agent. The disease is now referred to as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the causative virus is called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). 

It is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

The initial outbreak in Wuhan spread rapidly, affecting other parts of China.

The International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) Emergency Committee on the outbreak of COVID-19 was first convened on 22‒23 January 2020, and subsequently reconvened on 30 January 2020.


The WHO Director General declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020.

The Emergency Committee provided recommendations to WHO, to China, to all countries and to the global community, on measures to control the outbreak.


On 11 March 2020. WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic because of the “alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction”. At that time, there were large outbreaks of the virus in Italy, South Korea, and the United States. In the US, the slow rollout of testing and limited testing capacity has crippled response to the disease. The declaration came after a 13-fold rise in the number of cases outside China in the two weeks prior to the declaration.


      WHAT IS COVID-19

      Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  


      People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease spreads from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth  when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. Droplets can land surfaces around the infected person and other can catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from the infected person.  This is why it is important to stay more than 3 feet away from a person who is sick. (WHO)


      Time from exposure to onset of symptoms is generally between 2 and 14 days. (CDC)


      Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath (CDC). Complications may include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

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