The first public statement about what would later be identified as a "novel coronavirus" was made on 31 December 2019 by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission. The text is in Chinese; here's a Google translation: "Recently, some medical institutions found that multiple cases of pneumonia received were related to South China Seafood City." The suggested measures for the public to take are striking: "The disease is preventable and controllable, keep indoor air circulation for prevention, avoid closed public places and crowded places with poor air circulation, and wear masks when going out." Right from the beginning, then, wearing masks was proposed as a way to combat the spread of the virus. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 31 December)
The full translation:
Notification of Wuhan Municipal Health Commission on the current situation of pneumonia in our city
Issuing agency: Wuhan Municipal Health Commission | Release time: 2019-12-31 13:38:05
Recently, some medical institutions found that multiple cases of pneumonia received were related to South China Seafood City. After receiving the report, the Municipal Health Commission immediately carried out case searches and retrospective investigations related to South China Seafood City in the city’s medical and health institutions. Twenty-seven cases have been found, of which 7 are in serious condition, the remaining cases are stable and controllable, and 2 cases have improved and are scheduled to be discharged in the near future. The clinical manifestations of the cases were mainly fever, a few patients had difficulty breathing, and chest radiographs showed infiltrating foci of both lungs. At present, all cases have been treated in isolation, follow-up investigation and medical observation of close contacts are underway, and hygienic investigation and environmental sanitation treatment of South China Seafood City are underway.
Wuhan City organizes consultations with clinical medicine, epidemiology, and virology experts from Tongji Hospital, Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan Infectious Disease Hospital, and Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The experts return from illness and treatment. , Epidemiological investigations, preliminary laboratory tests and other aspects of the analysis believe that the above cases are viral pneumonia. The investigation so far has not found obvious human-to-human transmission, and no medical staff infection has been found. At present, the detection of the pathogen and the investigation of the cause of infection are underway.
Viral pneumonia is more common in winter and spring, and can be sporadic or outbreak. The main clinical manifestations are fever, body aches, a small number of breathing difficulties, and lung infiltration. Viral pneumonia is related to the virulence of the virus, the route of infection, and the age and immune status of the host. Viruses that cause viral pneumonia are influenza viruses. The others are parainfluenza viruses, cytomegaloviruses, adenoviruses, rhinoviruses, and coronaviruses. The diagnosis depends on pathogenic tests, including virus isolation, serological tests, and virus antigen and nucleic acid tests. The disease is preventable and controllable, keep indoor air circulation for prevention, avoid closed public places and crowded places with poor air circulation, and wear masks when going out. Clinically, symptomatic treatment is the mainstay, and bed rest is required. If you have the above symptoms, especially if the fever persists, you should go to a medical institution in time.