Home CHEST Thought Leaders The 2019 Novel Coronavirus: How to Prepare for an Infectious Outbreak

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus: How to Prepare for an Infectious Outbreak

A novel coronavirus infection has been discovered in China and has been spreading to a growing number of international locations, including the United States. The World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency.

Coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections in humans and are spread from animals, including camels and bats. Two recently identified human coronaviruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV), have been known to cause severe illness.

Thus far, information about the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infectious outbreak has been scarce. Fever and cough are common symptoms, and some patients progress to develop severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and multiple organ failure. Older men with comorbidities have been identified as high risk from the initial cohort of patients from China. Thousands of cases have been diagnosed thus far, along with over a hundred deaths worldwide.

We don’t fully know the implications of this infection, but the appearance of a novel infectious pathogen provides an opportunity to talk about emergency preparedness.

In this month’s #CHESTChat, members of CHEST’s Disaster Response and Global Health NetWork will join us to discuss this novel coronavirus and help you prepare for an infectious pathogen outbreak at your institution.

Join us on Thursday, February 13, at 8 pm CT on Twitter to discuss the following topics:

T1: What do we know so far about the epidemiology, clinical course, and treatments of #coronavirus #2019nCoV?

T2: What precautions and evaluations should be taken in suspected cases of #coronavirus #2019nCoV?

T3: What steps should you be taking to prepare for an infectious pathogen outbreak?

T4: How should we be educating our patients and families about #coronavirus #2019nCoV?


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html.
  2. Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X, Jieming Q, Gong F, Yang H. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. [published online ahead of print January 20, 2020.] Lancet. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30211-7/fulltext.
  3. Sandrock CE. Care of the critically ill and injured during pandemics and disasters: groundbreaking results from the Task Force on Mass Critical Care. Chest. 2014;146(4):881-883. https://journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(15)33167-6/fulltext.