ECDC provides risk assessment of 2019-nCoV case importation into EU/EEA countries

On 24 January 2020, the first imported cases (3) of 2019-nCoV were identified in France. The rapid increase in the number of reported cases can be partly attributed to the ongoing improved testing protocols and epidemiological investigations of the Chinese authorities; however, since the original source remains unknown and human-to-human transmission has been documented, further cases and deaths are expected. Further cases are also expected among travellers from Hubei Province. Therefore, health authorities in Member States should remain vigilant and strengthen their capacity to respond to such an event. There are considerable uncertainties in assessing the risk of this event, due to lack of detailed epidemiological analyses. On the basis of the information currently available, ECDC considers that:

  • the potential impact of 2019-nCoV outbreaks is high;
  • further global spread is likely;
  • there is currently a moderate likelihood of infection for EU/EEA citizens residing in or visiting Wuhan, Hubei province, China;
  • there is a high likelihood of further case importation into countries with the greatest volume of people who have travelled from Wuhan, Hubei Province (i.e. countries in Asia);
  • there is a moderate likelihood of further case importation into EU/EEA countries; adherence to appropriate infection prevention and control practices, particularly in healthcare settings in EU/EEA countries with direct links to Hubei, means that the likelihood of a case detected in the EU resulting in secondary cases within the EU/EEA is low;
  • the impact of the late detection of an imported case in an EU/EEA country without the application of appropriate infection prevention and control measures would be high, therefore in such a scenario the risk of secondary transmission in the community setting is estimated to be very high.

The report can be found here: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/Risk-assessment-pneumonia-Wuhan-China-26-Jan-2020.pdf

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