by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | February 06, 2020
American and Chinese researchers have compiled a special report that details signs to look for on CT scans when examining patients suspected of carrying the Wuhan coronavirus.
They assert that radiologists must be familiar with key findings of the disease — officially known as 2019-nCoV — to detect, diagnose and recommend treatment early, and help stop the outbreak, which has affected thousands globally since first observed in December.
“This is a new disease that is being characterized for the first time, and there are only a handful of cases in the entire United States. At this point, no radiologist has wide exposure or experience with the radiology findings of 2019-nCoV,” Dr. Michael Chung, assistant professor in the department of diagnostic, interventional and molecular radiology in the Mount Sinai Health System in New York, and Dr. Adam Bernheim, a cardiothoracic radiologist at Mount Sinai and a colleague who worked on the report with Dr. Chung, told HCB News. “Coronavirus pneumonias share similar imaging characteristics, as we have seen similarities between this outbreak and other coronavirus infections such as SARS and MERS. The more radiologists are familiar with this disease category, the better they will be able to recognize any future coronavirus pneumonias.”
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Originating within Wuhan City in the Hubei province of China, the disease has been nicknamed “Wuhan coronavirus” and “novel coronavirus”. It belongs to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The World Health Organization first detected its presence in December when it was made aware of several cases of a respiratory illness clinically resembling viral pneumonia.
It declared it to be an epidemic
this month, that to date that has affected at least 24,000 in China, as well as individuals in other countries. A twelfth case was recently confirmed in the U.S., with the first instance of person-to-person spread confirmed on January 30. The result has led countries to suspend flights to China, according to NBC News
To help radiologists recognize and diagnose the disease in the early stages, researchers compiled a series of retrospective cases for 21 patients with the virus admitted to three hospitals in three provinces of China between January 18 and January 27. The 13 men and eight women each underwent chest CT scans, with laboratory testing of respiratory secretions after confirming each to be positive for infection.