The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel (new) coronavirus strain (2019-nCoV) discovered in China, is causing concern for people worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak. There is an ongoing investigation to determine more about this outbreak. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and information will be updated as it becomes available:
- CNN provides live, daily updates here: https://edition.cnn.com/specials/asia/coronavirus-outbreak-intl-hnk
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a robust hub monitoring the outbreak: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html
- Channel News Asia keeps a running update of the COVID-19 outbreak here: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/topics/wuhan-virus
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has a page on the novel coronavirus here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- The CDC website maintains a page tracking the number of cases in the U.S.: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html.
- A world map of where coronavirus outbreaks have been reported is updated here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html#map
- Colorado Department of Health information: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
How It Spreads
Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet)
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Spread from Contact with Infected Surfaces or Objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
- Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
How easily a virus spreads from person to person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained.
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (community spread) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
All COVID-19 travel-health notices can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
For confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include: