Maria Montero

Coronavirus Timeline: How a Handful of Pneumonia Cases in …

The coronavirus, which appeared in a Chinese seafood and poultry market late last year, has spread to 24 countries, killing more than 1,000 and sickening tens of thousands of people in a matter of weeks. The World Health Organization has declared the situation a global health emergency.

Here’s a timeline of what we know so far about the outbreak.

December 31st

Chinese authorities were treating dozens of pneumonia cases of unknown cause.

On December 31, the government of Wuhan, China, confirmed that health authorities were treating dozens of cases. Days later, researchers in China identified a new virus behind a disease that had infected dozens of people in Asia. At the time, there was no evidence that the virus was easily spread by humans. Health officials in China were monitoring him to make sure the outbreak did not escalate into something more serious.

January 11

China reported its first death.

On January 11, Chinese state media reported the first known death from the disease caused by the virus, which had infected dozens of people in China. The 61-year-old man who died was a regular in the Wuhan market, where the disease is believed to have originated, and had previously been found to have abdominal tumors and chronic liver disease. The report of his death came just before one of China’s biggest holidays, when hundreds of millions of people travel across the country.

    Coronavirus Timeline: How a Handful of Pneumonia Cases in Chinas Wuhan Became a Global Health Emergency

A man wearing a face mask crosses what is usually a busy street in Beijing on Thursday. By Gilles Sabrié © 2020 The New York Times

January 20

Other countries, including the United States, confirmed cases.

The first confirmed coronavirus cases outside of mainland China occurred in Japan, South Korea and Thailand, according to the first WHO situation report released on January 20. The first confirmed case in the US occurred the next day in Washington state, where a man in his 30s developed symptoms after returning from a trip to Wuhan.

January 23

Wuhan, a city of more than 11 million, was cut off by Chinese authorities.