Skip to main content
NETEC logo - link to main NETEC page

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

About the COVID-19 novel Coronavirus

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans (WHO). Find more information on Coronavirus on the Lancet's Coronavirus page. See updates on COVID-19 on the WHO Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) page with Situation Reports and Disease Outbreak News, and see the updated Geographical distribution of COVID-19 cases within China and globally on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control page. Map below created by Johns Hopkins.

Key updates:

  • On January 30, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel advisory, Level 4: Do not travel to China due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. The U.S. Department of State issued a travel advisory at Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution for Hong Kong on February 20, 2020, and for Japan on February 22, 2020, due to COVID-19 (U.S. Department of State).
  • On January 27, 2020, CDC again updated its interim travel health notice for this destination to provide information to people who may be traveling to Wuhan City and who may get sick. The travel notice was raised to a Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel advising travelers that the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China (CDC). The CDC issued Level 1: Watch travel health notices for Hong Kong and Japan on February 19, 2020 and for Iran and Italy on February 23, 2020.

  • On 10 January, WHO published a range of interim guidance for all countries on how they can prepare for this virus, including how to monitor for sick people, test samples, treat patients, control infection in health centres, maintain the right supplies, and communicate with the public about this new virus (WHO). The CDC is continuing to publish updated guidance on the evaluation of Patients Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 (CDC).
  • On 31 December 2019, the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the causative virus by Chinese authorities on 7 January (WHO).

CDC and WHO Guidance


Education and training resources for all facilities


Preparedness Resources for All Facilities


Clinical Guidance


Research resources

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)