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N Engl J Med. 2020 Jan 29. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2001316. [Epub ahead of print]

Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia.

Author information

1
From the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing (Q.L., X.W., L.Z., R.R., N.X., C.L., D.L., J.Z., W.T., L.J., Q.W., R.W., Y.Z., G. Shi, G.F.G., Z.F.), the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Wuhan, Hubei (X.G., Y.T., X.X., Y.W., Q.C., M.L., C.C., R.Y., S.Z., Y. Luo, B.Y.), the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control, School of Public Health, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (P.W., K.S.M.L., E.H.Y.L., J.Y.W., T.T.Y.L., J.T.K.W., B.J.C., G.M.L.), the Chinese Field Epidemiology Training Program, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing (T.L., R.Y., S.Z., H. Liu, Y. Liu, G. Shao, H. Li, Z.T.), the Jingzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Jingzhou, Hubei (T.L.), the Chengdu Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Chengdu, Sichuan (H. Liu); the Hunan Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Changsha, Hunan (Y. Liu), the Anyang Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Anyang, Henan (G. Shao), the Panjin Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Panjin, Liaoning (H. Li), the Guizhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guiyang, Guizhou (Z.T.), the Jiading District Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shanghai (Y.Y.), the Nanchang Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Nanchang, Jiangxi (Z.D.), the Inner Mongolia Comprehensive Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia (B.L.), and the Baoshan District Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shanghai (Z.M.) - all in China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The initial cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)-infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019 and January 2020. We analyzed data on the first 425 confirmed cases in Wuhan to determine the epidemiologic characteristics of NCIP.

METHODS:

We collected information on demographic characteristics, exposure history, and illness timelines of laboratory-confirmed cases of NCIP that had been reported by January 22, 2020. We described characteristics of the cases and estimated the key epidemiologic time-delay distributions. In the early period of exponential growth, we estimated the epidemic doubling time and the basic reproductive number.

RESULTS:

Among the first 425 patients with confirmed NCIP, the median age was 59 years and 56% were male. The majority of cases (55%) with onset before January 1, 2020, were linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, as compared with 8.6% of the subsequent cases. The mean incubation period was 5.2 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.1 to 7.0), with the 95th percentile of the distribution at 12.5 days. In its early stages, the epidemic doubled in size every 7.4 days. With a mean serial interval of 7.5 days (95% CI, 5.3 to 19), the basic reproductive number was estimated to be 2.2 (95% CI, 1.4 to 3.9).

CONCLUSIONS:

On the basis of this information, there is evidence that human-to-human transmission has occurred among close contacts since the middle of December 2019. Considerable efforts to reduce transmission will be required to control outbreaks if similar dynamics apply elsewhere. Measures to prevent or reduce transmission should be implemented in populations at risk. (Funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and others.).

PMID:
31995857
DOI:
10.1056/NEJMoa2001316
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