A New Coronavirus Associated With Human Respiratory Disease in China (2020/02/03)

Emerging infectious diseases, such as SARS and Zika, present a major threat to public health1–3. Despite intense research efforts, how, when and where new diseases appear are still the source of considerable uncertainly. A severe respiratory disease was recently reported in the city Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Up to 25th of January 2020, at least 1,975 cases have been reported since the first patient was hospitalized on the 12th of December 2019. Epidemiological investigation suggested that the outbreak was associated with a seafood market in Wuhan. We studied one patient who was a worker at the market, and who was admitted to Wuhan Central Hospital on 26th of December 2019 experiencing a severe respiratory syndrome including fever, dizziness and cough. Metagenomic RNA sequencing4 of a bronchoalveolar lavage fluid sample identified a novel RNA virus from the family Coronaviridae, designed here as WH-Human-1 coronavirus. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete viral genome (29,903 nucleotides) revealed that the virus was most closely related (89.1% nucleotide similarity) to a group of SARS-like coronaviruses (genus Betacoronavirus, subgenus Sarbecovirus) previously sampled from bats in China. This outbreak highlights the ongoing capacity of viral spill-over from animals to cause severe disease in humans.