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2019-nCoV (Chinese coronavirus): a preliminary assessment and modeling analysis of international spreading risk

A new coronavirus is making the news. Starting in December 2019, Chinese health authorities have been closely monitoring a cluster of pneumonia cases in the city of Wuhan, in Hubei Province. It has been determined that the causing agent of the viral pneumonia among affected individuals is a new coronavirus, renamed 2019-nCoV, and human-to-human transmission has been recently confirmed by the Chinese National Health Commission created in response to the outbreak. Considering the potential international threat that an outbreak of a novel virus like this one poses to the world, a team of scientists led by Northeastern University professor Alessandro Vespignani, including ISI Foundation researchers Corrado Gioannini, Maria Litvinova and Luca Rossi, and in collaboration with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Florida, is providing a modeling analysis of the risk of international dissemination of 2019-nCoV infections.

Scientists are using a detailed individual based mobility model (EpiRisk) to estimate the extent of the outbreak and the risk of dissemination on a longer time scale. The model highlights the relative risk of observing 2019-nCoV cases for major urban areas in China and internationally: it simulates the mobility of people across more than 3,200 census areas in about 190 different countries, integrating the mobility by global air travel (obtained from the International Air Transport Association and Official Airline Guide databases) and the short-scale mobility between adjacent subpopulations. Updated on a regular basis, the report is available at

Preliminary assessment of the international spreading risk associated with the 2019 nCOV outbreak in Wuhan city. Northeastern University, ISI Foundation, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Florida. Link