A new respiratory virus called the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19 is making headlines for causing an outbreak of respiratory illness throughout the world. The outbreak began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and quickly spread internationally – including to the United States. Thousands of people have become sick and public health officials are keeping a close watch on how the virus is spreading.
While coronaviruses are common, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that had previously not been identified in humans. The key features of COVID-19 are respiratory symptoms with a fever and cough. Like all new infections, understanding COVID-19 is important and changes rapidly. The CDC is proactively monitoring the virus and taking measures like providing guidance for health care workers and issuing travel recommendations.