At the end of December 2019, Chinese public health authorities reported several cases of acute respiratory syndrome in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China. Chinese scientists soon identified a novel coronavirus as the main causative agent. The disease is now referred to as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the causative virus is called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.
The initial outbreak in Wuhan spread rapidly, affecting other parts of China. Cases were soon detected in several other countries. Outbreaks and clusters of the disease have since been observed in Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa and the Americas.
For a quick overview, please refer to the following pages:
- Latest situation update, epidemiological curve and global distribution
- Situation dashboard: latest available data
- Current risk assessment
- Q&A on COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving, and outbreak investigations are ongoing. ECDC is closely monitoring this outbreak, providing risk assessments, public health guidance, and advice on response activities to EU Member States and the EU Commission.
Erratum: The worldwide data for 28 March 2020 has been corrected to 17 deaths (Argentina) and 26 990 deaths worldwide, instead of 117 deaths (Argentina) and 27 090 deaths worldwide.
Rapid risk assessment: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: increased transmission in the EU/EEA and the UK – seventh update