Overview of the Novel Coronavirus
Q: What is the new human coronavirus?
A: A novel coronavirus was identified in 2012 as the cause of respiratory illness in people. The new virus is a beta coronavirus. It is different from any other coronavirus previously found in people.
Q: Is this virus the same as the SARS virus?
A: No. The novel coronavirus is not the same virus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. However, like the SARS virus, the novel coronavirus is most similar to those found in bats. CDC is still learning about this new virus.
Q: What are the symptoms of novel coronavirus infection?
A: Most people who got infected with the novel coronavirus developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some people were reported as having a mild respiratory illness.
Q: Does the virus spread from person to person?
A: The virus has been shown to spread between people who are in close contact. Transmission from infected patients to healthcare personnel has also been observed. Clusters of cases in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UK and France are being investigated.
Q: Can I still travel to countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries?
A: Yes. WHO and CDC have not issued travel health warnings for any country related to novel coronavirus.
For more information, see CDC’s travel notice on Novel (New) Coronavirus in the Arabian Peninsula.
Q: What if I recently traveled to countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries and got sick?
A: If you develop a fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 10 days after traveling from countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries(1), you should see your healthcare provider and mention your recent travel.
Q: What are the treatments?
A: There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by the novel coronavirus. Medical care is supportive and to help relieve symptoms.
Q: Is there a lab test?
A: Lab tests (polymerase chain reaction or PCR) for the novel coronavirus are available at CDC and other international labs. Otherwise, these tests are not routinely available.
Q: What should healthcare providers and health departments do?
A: For recommendations and guidance on the case definitions; infection control, including personal protective equipment guidance; case investigation; and specimen collection and shipment, see Update, Case Definitions, & Guidance.
Images and logos on this website which are trademarked/copyrighted or used with permission of the trademark/copyright or logo holder are not in the public domain. These images and logos have been licensed for or used with permission in the materials provided on this website. The materials in the form presented on this website may be used without seeking further permission. Any other use of trademarked/copyrighted images or logos requires permission from the trademark/copyright holder...more
This graphic notice means that you are leaving an HHS Web site. For more information, please see the Exit Notification and Disclaimer policy.
The Coronavirus Study Group of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) has decided, after careful consideration and broad consultation, to call this novel coronavirus "MERS-CoV." CDC will be updating our website to use this new name.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333
TTY: (888) 232-6348