Hong Kong University
BACKGROUND The initial cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)-infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019 and January 2020. We analyzed data on the first 425 confirmed cases in Wuhan to determine the epidemiologic characteristics of NCIP. METHODS We collected information on demographic characteristics, exposure history, and illness timelines of laboratory-confirmed cases of NCIP that had been reported by January 22, 2020. We described characteristics of the cases and estimated the key epidemiologic time-delay distributions. In the early period of exponential growth, we estimated the epidemic doubling time and the basic reproductive number. RESULTS Among the first 425 patients with confirmed NCIP, the median age was 59 years and 56% were male. The majority of cases (55%) with onset before January 1, 2020, were linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, as compared with 8.6% of the subsequent cases. The mean incubation period was 5.2 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.1 to 7.0), with the 95th percentile of the distribution at 12.5 days. In its early stages, the epidemic doubled in size every 7.4 days. With a mean serial interval of 7.5 days (95% CI, 5.3 to 19), the basic reproductive number was estimated to be 2.2 (95% CI, 1.4 to 3.9). CONCLUSIONS On the basis of this information, there is evidence that human-to-human transmission has occurred among close contacts since the middle of December 2019. Considerable efforts to reduce transmission will be required to control outbreaks if similar dynamics apply elsewhere. Measures to prevent or reduce transmission should be implemented in populations at risk. (Funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and others.).
Li Qun, Guan Xuhua, Wu Peng, Wang Xiaoye, Zhou Lei, Tong Yeqing, Ren Ruiqi, Leung Kathy S M, Lau Eric H Y, Wong Jessica Y., Xing Xuesen, Xiang Nijuan, Wu Yang, Li Chao, Chen Qi, Li Dan, Liu Tian, Zhao Jing, Li Man, Tu Wenxiao, Chen Chuding, Jin Lianmei, Yang Rui, Wang Qi, Zhou Suhua, Wang Rui, Liu Hui, Luo Yingbo, Liu Yuan, Shao Ge, Li Huan, Tao Zhongfa, Yang Yang, Deng Zhiqiang, Liu Boxi, Ma Zhitao, Zhang Yanping, Shi Guoqing, Lam Tommy T Y, Wu Joseph T K, Gao George F., Cowling Benjamin J., Yang Bo, Leung Gabriel M., Feng Zijian. (2020). Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia