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The International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) is adapting its existing tools, designed for emerging respiratory pathogens, for the current outbreak of global significance. This is an international resource for facilitating the collection of standardised clinical data on patients hospitalised with suspected or confirmed infection with novel coronavirus.

© © National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of the People’s Republic of China. The etiologic agent has been identified as a novel Betacoronavirus (2019-nCoV). Cases of infection with 2019-nCoV have been detected in travellers to Thailand, Japan, Korea and the US, and, on 19 January, the case numbers reported from China increased significantly. The emerging data suggest that person-to-person transmission is occurring, and there is a threat of further escalation and international spread.

In the past, clinical data on emerging infections have not been collected, standardised, or shared quickly enough to inform the outbreak response and patient care. ISARIC – whose Global Support Centre is hosted by the University of Oxford - has a long-standing programme of work on emerging respiratory pathogens which is being adapted for the current outbreak. 

Read more (Nuffield Department of Medicine, Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health)