WHO says no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of novel coronavirus

Despite the first exported case of novel coronavirus from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday that there is no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission based on available information.

The WHO said that additional investigation is needed to ascertain the presence of human-to-human transmission, modes of transmission, common source of exposure and the presence of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases that are undetected.

It is critical to review all available information to fully understand the potential transmissibility among humans and to continue investigations to identify the source of infection, the WHO added.

According to the WHO, a 61-year-old Chinese woman developed fever with chills, sore throat and headache on Jan. 5 and took a direct flight to Thailand from Wuhan on Jan. 8. She was then found to have been infected with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and transferred to hospital.

The traveler said she visited a local fresh market in Wuhan on a regular basis prior to the onset of illness on Jan. 5, but did not go to Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where most of the cases were detected.

The WHO said the patient is in a stable condition and her full exposure history is still under investigation.

Since the initial report of cases in Wuhan on Dec. 31, 41 cases with novel coronavirus infection have been preliminarily diagnosed, including one case that died with severe underlying medical conditions. No additional cases have been detected since Jan. 3 in China.