2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)


In late 2019, a new outbreak of a novel coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China. As of January 31, 2020, there have been almost 10,000 confirmed cases of a new strain of coronavirus (2019-nCov) worldwide, with the majority in the city of Wuhan in China1.

What Are Coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of enveloped virus that was first discovered in the 1960s. Coronaviruses are most commonly found in animals, including camels and bats, and are not typically transmitted between animals and humans. However six strains of coronavirus were previously known to be capable of transmission from animals to humans, the most well-known being Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)CoV, responsible for a large outbreak in 2003, and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) CoV, responsible for an outbreak in 2012.2

The latest strain, known as 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCov, is the seventh strain now known to have been transmitted from animals to humans at an animal and seafood market in Wuhan, China. The growing number of patients who have not had exposure to animal markets suggest that person-to-person transmission is occurring.3

What are the symptoms of 2019 Novel Coronavirus and what do I do if I suspect symptoms in myself or others?

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), symptoms for the Novel Coronavirus have included: fever; cough; and difficulty breathing. If you have traveled to Wuhan, China and develop symptoms of 2019 Novel Coronavirus infection, avoid contact with others and contact a health care professional.4

Tell your health care professional: your symptoms; where you have been travelling or living; if you had direct contact with animals (for example, if you visited a live animal market); if you had close contact with a sick person, especially if they had a fever, cough or difficulty breathing4.

How Are Coronaviruses Spread?

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), coronaviruses are most commonly spread by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, such as shaking hands, or touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then touching the mouth, eyes or nose.5 PHAC has also issued an information sheet on the novel coronavirus6.

Why Are Human Coronaviruses and Particularly nCoV a Concern?

Most people get infected with a human coronavirus at some point in their lives and experience cold-like symptoms for a few days before recovering. However, novel coronaviruses — such as MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and 2019-nCoV cause severe symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath that can lead to pneumonia and even death. These coronaviruses can quickly spread from person to person and can lead to widespread outbreaks when infected individuals travel to different countries. As with most emerging viruses, the risk depends on a number of factors including ease of transmission, severity of symptoms and prevention and treatment options available. In the case of 2019-nCoV, there is neither a vaccine nor specific treatment.

Infection Control Measures

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the novel coronavirus as a public health emergency on international concern.7

When the PHAC has issued a public notice that an emerging viral pathogen poses a significant risk to Canadians or has been declared by the WHO as a public health emergency of international concern, manufacturers can communicate to the public regarding the expected efficacy of disinfectants against the emerging pathogen8.

In the absence of effective drugs or vaccines, Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) strategies to prevent or limit transmission of 2019-nCoV in healthcare facilities include:

  • Prompt identification
  • Appropriate risk assessment
  • Management and placement of probable and confirmed cases
  • Investigation and follow-up of
    close contacts9.

Early recognition and source control

To facilitate early recognition and source control:

  • Triage for identification and appropriate placement (source control) of patients.
  • Masks, tissues and alcohol-based hand rubs (AHBR) should be available at entrances.
  • Signage should be posted to instruct symptomatic patients to alert healthcare workers, thus prompting completion of a patient screening questionnaire.9.

Additional information and guidelines from PHAC for health professionals are accessible here:

CloroxPro™ Products Eligible to Be Used Against Virus Causing COVID-19 When Used As Directed Based On the PHAC’s Public Health Emergency Policy

The rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 has triggered Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Emerging Pathogen Policy8. This policy permits manufacturers of disinfectants to make efficacy claims for its disinfectants against the emerging viral pathogen if:

  • the disinfectant has a Broad Spectrum Virucidal efficacy claim, meaning that it has a claim against anyone of the following four viruses approved by PHAC: Poliovirus type 1, Chat strain (ATCC VR-1562) or Human adenovirus type 5 (ATCC VR-5 or VR-16) or Bovine parvovirus (ATCC VR-767) or Canine parvovirus (ATCC VR-2017)
  • or, if the taxonomic genus of the virus has been identified, the disinfectant has efficacy claims against other viruses within that genus (e.g. a disinfectant with a coronavirus claim can be considered effective against COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2)

Based on the Emerging Pathogen Policy, all the following CloroxProTM are expected to be effective against SARSCoV-2 on hard non-porous surfaces:

Product Name DIN No. Follow directions for use against stated virus (contact time)
Clorox Healthcare
Clorox Healthcare® Germicidal Disinfecting Cleaner 02469278 Canine Parvovirus (1 min)
Clorox Healthcare® Bleach Germicidal Wipes 02465671 Canine Parvovirus (1 min)
Clorox Healthcare® Fuzion® Disinfectant Cleaner 02459744 Canine Parvovirus (1 min)
Clorox Healthcare® Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner Disinfectant 02403528 Human Coronavirus strain 229E (30 sec)
Clorox Healthcare® Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner Disinfectant Wipes 02406225 Human Coronavirus strain 229E (1 min)
Clorox Healthcare® Spore Defense™ Cleaner Disinfectant 02494663 Canine Parvovirus (1 min)
Clorox Healthcare® VersaSure® Cleaner Disinfectant Wipes 02473151 MERS-CoV (30 sec)
Clorox® Total 360® Disinfecting Cleaner 02460769 Canine Parvovirus (2 min)
Clorox® Germicidal
02459108 Poliovirus (5 minutes)
CloroxPro™ Clorox®Disinfecting Wipes 02492636 Human Coronavirus strain 229E (15 sec)
CloroxPro™  Clorox® Clean-Up® Disinfecting Bleach Cleaner 02494019 Canine Parvovirus (30 sec)


1. CNN news report. China marks deadliest day as WHO declares global health emergency in fight against Wuhan coronavirus. https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/30/asia/wuhan-coronavirus-update-intl-hnk/index.html Accessed January 31, 2020.
2. CDC. Human Coronavirus. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. Accessed January 21, 2020
3. CDC. 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html. Accessed January 31, 2020
4. Health Canada. Novel Coronavirus infection: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/frequently-asked-questions.html. Accessed January 31, 2020
5. Coronavirus infection: Prevention and risks. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus/prevention-risks.html. Accessed January 30, 2020
6. 2019 Novel Coronavirus. https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/documents/services/publications/diseases-conditions/2019-novel-coronavirus-information-sheet/coronavirus-handout-eng.pdf. Accessed January 30, 2020
7. CBC news report. WHO declares coronavirus outbreak an international emergency. https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/who-reconvenes-assess-latest-coronavirus-1.5445775. Accessed January 30, 2020
8. Health Canada Guidance Document: Safety and efficacy requirements for hard surface disinfectant drugs. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/drug-products/applications-submissions/guidance-documents/disinfectants/summary.html Accessed Jan 27, 2020.
9. Health Canada. 2019 novel coronavirus: For health professionals. https://www.canada.ca/coronavirus. Accessed January 21, 2020