NIH Issues Statement on Wuhan Coronavirus Infection


An article* on the Wuhan coronavirus infection was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association describing the history of the two previous coronavirus outbreaks comprising the 2002 emergence of SARS and MERS in 2012.


The authors including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the NIH, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and his colleague Dr. Hillary D. Marston together with Dr. Catherine Paules of Penn State University, College of Medicine commented, “While the trajectory of this outbreak is impossible to predict, effective response requires prompt action from the standpoint of classic public health strategies to the timely development implementation of effective counter measures.”  Experience gained in previous coronavirus outbreaks has been applied to the present situation:-

Dr. Anthony Fauci NIAID
  • China has been transparent in releasing information including incidence rates, location of cases and has released gene sequences to international agencies.


  • Diagnostic tests are obviously available to differentiate between Wuhan coronavirus infection and other respiratory conditions.


  • Advances in molecular biology suggest that a vaccine could be available for testing in three months compared to twenty months for the SARS vaccine.


The authors note, “The emergence of yet another outbreak of human disease caused by a pathogen from a viral family formerly thought to be relatively benign underscores the perpetual challenge of emerging infectious diseases and the importance of sustained preparedness.”


*Paules C. I. et al Coronavirus Infections: More Than Just the Common Cold. Journal of the American Medical Association. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2020.0757 (2020)