The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health update on February 1, 2020 about 2019-nCoV. This builds on the information provided in their initial January 17 health update on the coronavirus.
Update and Interim Guidance on Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
The definition of Patients Under Investigation (PUI) has been expanded with a new category: those with a history of travel from mainland China (with symptom onset within 14 days) who have fever AND lower respiratory symptoms AND require hospitalization are considered to be PUIs.
In addition, those with a history of travel from Hubei Province, China (not just Wuhan) within 14 days of symptom onset who have fever AND signs/symptoms of a lower respiratory illness are also PUIs.
The CDC message includes a flow chart to identify and assess 2019-nCoV, information on evaluation and testing, guidance for clinicians caring for patients with 2019-nCoV, and updated infection prevention and control guidance.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) reminds providers that PUIs should be asked to wear a surgical mask as soon as they are identified.
Patients should be placed in a private room with the door closed for evaluation, ideally an airborne infection isolation room, if available. Healthcare personnel entering the room should use standard precautions, contact precautions, airborne precautions, and use eye protection (e.g., goggles or a face shield).
Providers who see a suspect case should call LAC DPH immediately (see reporting information below).
Resources for Providers
LAC DPH has a dedicated 2019-nCOV provider web page, which includes a number of resources for your use:
- A step by step guide for identifying and managing suspect patients
- Instructions for suspect and confirmed cases and their families or caregivers
- FAQs for physicians
- Travel alert posters
- PUI reporting and laboratory test forms
Los Angeles County DPH Acute Communicable Disease Control:
- Call 188.8.131.5241 on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- For after-hours, call 1.213.974.1234 and ask for the physician on call.
Long Beach Health and Human Services:
- Call 1.562.570.4302 on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- For after-hours, call the Duty Officer at 1.562.500.5537.
Pasadena Public Health Department:
- Call 1.626.744.6089 on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (note: closed every other Friday)
- For after-hours, call 1.626.744.6043.
LAC DPH held telebriefings for clinicians in January. You can view the summary and other information at their Los Angeles Health Alert Network (LAHAN) web page.