On December 31, 2019, WHO was informed of several pneumonia cases found in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The virus does not match any other known viruses. This is a concern because we do not understand how new viruses affect humans.
A week later, on January 7, 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had discovered a new virus. This new virus belongs to the large family of coronaviruses that cause the common cold, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. This new virus is temporarily named 2019 New Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Since the date of notification, WHO has been working with Chinese authorities and global experts to learn more about the virus, including how it affects people who become sick from the virus, how patients should be treated, and measures countries can take towards this virus.
Since coronaviruses often cause respiratory diseases, WHO has issued recommendations on how the public can protect itself and others from getting sick.