Following the first reports of cases of acute respiratory syndrome in the Chinese Wuhan municipality at the end of December 2019Chinese authorities have identified a novel coronavirus as the main causative agent. The outbreak has rapidly evolved affecting other parts of China and outside the country. Cases have been detected in several countries in Asia, but also in Australia, Europe, Africa and North America. The first cases in the EU/EEA were confirmed in France. Further global spread is likely. 

On 12 February 2020, the novel coronavirus was named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) while the disease associated with it is now referred to as COVID-19. It is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern, especially when there’s little knowledge about the characteristics of the virus, how it spreads between people, how severe are the resulting infections and how to treat them.

See Q&A about the COVID-19

Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed but more information is needed to evaluate the full extent of this mode of transmission. The source of infection is unknown and could still be active.

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation with ongoing outbreak investigations. ECDC is closely monitoring this outbreak and providing risk assessments to guide EU Member States and the EU Commission in their response activities.

Latest updates


Guidance for wearing and removing personal protective equipment in healthcare settings for the care of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19

Technical report -


Infographic: COVID-19

Infographic -


COVID-19: ECDC updates case definition for EU surveillance

News, News story -


Checklist for hospitals preparing for the reception and care of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) patients

Technical report -


Algorithm for the management of contacts of probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases

Tool, Patient and case management -

Situation update 27 February 2020, 8:00 CET

82 132 cases
2 801 deaths
whereof 14 in the EU/EEA/UK and Switzerland
477 cases
in the EU/EEA/UK and Switzerland

Advice for travellers: outbreak of a novel coronavirus

The information is being updated and is temporarily unavailable.