On December 31, 2019, Chinese health authorities identified a new (or novel) coronavirus (referred to as 2019-nCoV) through a series of reported cases of infection in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.
As the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak continues to unfold worldwide, the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) continues to actively monitor this situation in collaboration with our national colleagues and stakeholders.
Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illness, similar to the common cold, and spread easily between people. There are several strains of coronaviruses, like the 2019 novel coronavirus, that cause severe illness in humans. These tend to have more difficulty spreading from person to person. As a result, the risk worldwide remains low.
There has been extensive research on the structure of the 2019 novel coronavirus to make the assumption that existing viral inactivation and removal steps used in the manufacturing process of clotting factor concentrates (CFCs) and virally-inactivated fresh frozen plasma (FFP) should be effective in eliminating this virus.
The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA), an international trade association representing private plasma collectors and commercial manufacturers of plasma-derived treatments, including plasma-derived CFCs, issued a statement on January 30, 2020 which is available here.
However, people with weakened immune systems do need to be vigilant about reducing their potential exposure. Taking precautions such as washing your hands or avoiding people who have symptoms, are outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Further details are available here.
Although the WHO has issued a global state of emergency, the risk to the global community remains low.
The only travel advisory currently identified by the WHO is specific to the affected areas of China.
As for the WFH 2020 World Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the WFH will continue to monitor and update the community as necessary.