For the past couple of days, The World Health Organization (WHO) — a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health — has been closely monitoring a “cluster of pneumonia cases” identified in Wuhan Hubei province (WHO News). On January 1, the WHO established an IMST (Incident Management Support Team) in order to thoroughly and adequately approach the complexities of dealing with the cluster of cases in Wuhan. The following day, a WHO representative in China wrote to the National Health Commission, offering WHO support and repeating the request for further information on the cluster of cases (WHO News). This morning, January 4, the official World Health Organization Twitter account published a tweet, reporting that officials have been alerted about a “cluster of pneumonia cases – with no deaths — in Wuhan, Hubei province” (Twitter, WHO).
For information regarding the cluster of cases in Wuhan, click here.
For information regarding genomic analyses of specific pathogens kept up-to-date, click here.
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung primarily affecting the small air sacs known as alveoli. Symptoms typically include some combination of productive or dry cough, chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing. The severity of the condition is variable. Pneumonia is usually caused by infection with viruses or bacteria, and less commonly by other microorganisms. Identifying the responsible pathogen can be difficult. Diagnosis is often based on symptoms and physical examination. Chest X-rays, blood tests, and culture of the sputum may help confirm the diagnosis. The disease may be classified by where it was acquired, such as community- or hospital-acquired, or healthcare-associated pneumonia.