CDC reminds clinicians to use standard precautions, recommends isolating patients with coronavirus symptoms

WHO declares ‘public health emergency,’ but flu remains greater threat to average Americans

In light of the "emerging, rapidly evolving" outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reminding clinicians to use standard precautions consistently and advising they isolate patients who show signs and symptoms of the virus.

The new coronavirus has led to tens of thousands of cases of respiratory illness in China, and infections have been reported in other countries as well, most of them associated with travel from Wuhan, China, where the virus was first detected, according to the CDC. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals and people, causing the common cold or more severe diseases, such as SARS and MERS.

As of Feb. 7, there are 12 confirmed U.S. cases of 2019-nCoV in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington and Wisconsin, as well as 100 other specimens awaiting testing or in route to the CDC. The first person-to-person transmission in the U.S. was reported Jan. 30 in the Chicago area.