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It’s Getting Nastier – novel coronavirus 2020 Jan 31

It’s Getting Nastier

The risk assessment for novel coronavirus of 2019 has shifted drastically. According to Reuters, Thailand has reported its first case of casual contact transmission in a taxi driver.

According to National Academy of Science, risk assessment methods or procedures are as follows:

  1. Hazard identification
  2. Hazard dose response
  3. Exposure assessment
  4. Risk characterization

Before the taxi driver incident, we had knowledge of person to person transmission (via family members who became infected by family members returning from a trip to Wuhan, China), and additional knowledge that an infected individual may be contagious before coronavirus symptoms manifest, which indicated that the attack rate (Hazard dose response, step 2) was thought to be to individuals in close proximity to contacts such as friends and family. This new case, identified this Friday in a taxi driver, changes the dose response or attack rate drastically. This new information indicates that the either the virus has mutated, the infected individual was shedding intensely during the taxi ride, or the driver had multiple riders who were infected (Thailand has confirmed a total of 19 cases), thus creating longer duration of exposure.

Regardless of the reason(s), the precautionary principle dictates an even more conservative public safety approach towards travelers returning from China and their close contacts who may be at risk.

There are still significant gaps in our knowledge of this virus as this is a new and evolving outbreak. Cogency will strive to stay on top of this situation to keep you informed. For more information about this coronavirus outbreak and how to characterize your risk and reduce risk to those you are charged to protect, contact the experts at Cogency at solutions@cogencyteam.com

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