The CDC has weighed in on the growing cluster of unidentified pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China on their Travelers' Health Website, with the following Watch Level 1 advisory.
A watch level 1 is the lowest tier advisory. The next highest is Alert Level 2 (Yellow), followed by Warning Level 3 (Red).Previously, media reports indicated that the `seafood market' which has been linked to the outbreak also sold poultry, pork, and rabbit - but today's notice expands that list, stating: In addition to seafood, the market sells chickens, bats, marmots, and other wild animals.
The 2003 SARS epidemic has been linked to `wild flavor' ("yewei" or 野味) restaurants that provided exotic animal dishes, including civet cats, snake soup, pangolin, and fried bats. Animals were often kept alive in cages in kitchens, and butchered and cooked to order.
It is believed this may have facilitated the jump of the SARS coronavirus from an animal host to humans.While the sale of many of these exotic animals was made illegal following the epidemic, old habits die hard, and enforcement has been lax (see Despite Crackdown, `Wild Flavor’ Trade Continues In China).
Nearly two months ago, in African Swine Fever's (ASF) Other Impacts; Pharmaceuticals, Bushmeat, and Food Insecurity), we looked at concerns that the pork shortage caused by African Swine Fever might induce more people to dine on `bushmeat', which has the potential of spreading zoonotic diseases.Today's CDC announcement follows yesterday's WHO statement, and the recent ordered enhanced surveillance of travelers coming from that region by Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao public health officials.