2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

This update is in response to the recent outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus or “2019-nCoV” by the U.S. Center of Disease Control (CDC), in Wuhan, China.  2019-nCoV is an enveloped virus and is part of the family of viruses that includes other recent coronavirus outbreaks such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, 2003) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, 2012-2014).1 As of January 27, 2020, 2019-nCoV has over 2,744 confirmed cases and 80 deaths. 2 Although cases have been reported mainly from Wuhan, there have also been confirmed cases in other parts of the globe including China and Asia 1. There have also been 5 reported cases in the U.S. as of this writing. 1,5

Current CDC and WHO guidelines for infection control are adapted from what is known about MERS and SARS. Specifically,

  • Early recognition and source control4
  • Application of Standard precautions for all patients4
  • Implementation of empiric additional precautions (droplet and contact and whenever applicable airborne precautions) for suspected cases4
  • Administrative controls4
  • Environmental and engineering controls4

There is limited information currently available to characterize the illness and transmission of 2019-nCoV. Typical transmission of coronaviruses is between animals. Rarely do coronaviruses evolve to be capable of animal-to-human and human-to-human transmission, such as with SARS and MERS.1 Preliminary data suggests that there may be human-to-human transmission of 2019-nCoV. 3 

As new information becomes available, the CDC and WHO will update these guidelines. Standard precaution for all patients in infection control includes environmental disinfection and hand hygiene.

Environmental Disinfection

Standard precaution regarding environmental disinfection for 2019-nCoV requires the use of an EPA-approved hospital disinfectant.3 CaviWipes BleachCaviWipes1, and CaviCide1 also the meet EPA’s emerging viral pathogens guidance for 2019-nCoV. They have demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to 2019-nCoV on hard-nonporous surfaces. Therefore, they can be used against 2019-nCoV when used in accordance with the directions for use against Adenovirus type 2. For additional information, refer to the CDC website at:


Hand Hygiene

The CDC recommends using alcohol-based hand sanitizers as the preferred method of hand decontamination when soap and water are not readily available. Alternatively, hands may be washed with antimicrobial soap and water.3 VioNexus No-Rinse Spray is consistent with CDCs recommendation.


  1. CDC. 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China. Accessed 27.2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  2. New York Times. Coronavirus Live Updates: Alarm Grows as Death Toll Rises and Markets Tumble. Accessed 1.27.2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/27/world/asia/china-coronavirus.html
  3. CDC. Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals. Accessed 1.22.2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/clinical-criteria.html
  4. CDC. Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected. Accessed 1.22.2020.
  5. Chicago Tribune. Jan 24 2020. Chicago woman who traveled to China diagnosed with coronavirus, health officials say. Accessed 1.24.2020. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-coronavirus-china-epidemic-illinois-case-20200124-yx2xd3yeovar3o25ei6bfvvbze-story.html


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