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Study details first known person-to-person transmission of new coronavirus in the USA

By Mindo - 12th Mar 2020

Conceptual photo. American flag behind wired fence. Border wall to USA. USA Flag closed behind a fence. No entrance

A new study in The Lancet details the first known person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States.

According to the study it occurred between two people with prolonged, unprotected exposure while the first patient was symptomatic. Despite active monitoring and testing of 372 contacts of both cases, no further transmission was detected

New research published in The Lancet, describes in detail the first locally-transmitted case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, in the USA, from a woman who had recently travelled to China and transmitted the infection to her husband.

No further transmission was detected, despite monitoring contacts for symptoms and testing all those who developed fever, cough, or shortness of breath, as well as a sample of asymptomatic healthcare professionals who had come into contact with the patients.

“This report suggests that person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 might be most likely to occur through unprotected, prolonged exposure to an individual with symptomatic COVID-19,” said Dr Jennifer Layden, Chief Medical Officer of the Chicago Department of Public Health, USA, who co-led the research.

“Our experience of limited transmission of SARS-CoV-2 differs from Wuhan where transmission has been reported to occur across the wider community and among healthcare professionals, and from experiences of other similar coronaviruses.

“Nevertheless, healthcare facilities should rapidly triage and isolate individuals suspected of having COVID-19, and notify infection prevention services and local health departments for support in testing, management, and containment efforts.”

More details can be found at https://www.thelancet.com/lancet/article/S0140-6736(20)30607-3

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