Human-to-human transmission of 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Posted 05 Feb 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.02.03.20019141
Posted 05 Feb 2020
BackgroundOn December 31, 2019, an outbreak of 2019-nCoV in humans was reported in Wuhan, China. We analyzed data from field investigations and genetic sequencing to provide evidence and characteristics of human-to-human transmission. MethodsA confirmed case of 2019-nCoV was defined if a suspected case was verified with positive of 2019-nCoV in throat swabs, nasal swabs, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), or endotracheal aspirates by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay (RT-PCR) or genetic sequencing. Field investigations were conducted for each confirmed case. Clinical and demographic data of the confirmed cases were collected from their medical records. Exposure and travel history were obtained by interviewing confirmed cases. ResultsA total of 188 confirmed cases were identified from January 1 to 27, 2020 in Guangdong Province, China. Of them, 84 (44.6%) cases were from 31 cluster infections. Thirty cases (16.0%) were identified as secondary cases, in which 25 and 9 cases were identified in cluster infections and family cluster infections, respectively. 2019-nCoV were detected in three cases with mild respiratory symptoms, and in two asymptomatic cases. The whole viral genomes within the same family cluster infections were exactly the same, and presented a few unique single nucleotide variants (SNVs) compared with 2019-nCoVs identified in Wuhan on December 2019. ConclusionsWe observed increasing human-to-human transmissions of 2019-nCoV in Guangdong, China, and most of them were identified in cluster infections. Our findings indicate that prevention strategies of containing the person-to-person transmission of 2019-nCoV in households, hospitals and communities are urgently needed.
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