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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.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020. There are ongoing investigations to learn more (CDC). As of 14 February 2020, 64,544 confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV have been reported from twenty-six countries including China (63,958), Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region) (53), Macao (Special Administrative Region) (10), cases on an international conveyance (Japan) (221), Singapore (58), Thailand (33), Republic of Korea (28), Japan (30), Taiwan (18), Malaysia (19), Germany (16), Vietnam (16), Australia (15), the United States (15), France (11), United Kingdom (9), United Arab Emirates (8), Canada (7), India (3), the Philippines (3), Italy (3), Spain (2), Russia (2), Cambodia (1), Nepal (1) and Sri Lanka (1), Belgium (1), Finland (1), and Sweden (1) (ECDC). See updates on the WHO Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) page with Situation Reports and Disease Outbreak News, and see the updated Geographical distribution of 2019-nCov cases within China and globally on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control page. Map created by Johns Hopkins.

Key updates:

  • 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).
  • 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 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).

  • On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel adivisory, Level 4: Do not travel to China due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. On January 30, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China (U.S. Department of State).

CDC and WHO Guidance


Education and training resources for all facilities


Preparedness Resources for All Facilities


Clinical Guidance


Research resources

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)