Where and When Did the Coronavirus Outbreak Start?

March 13, 2020
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With concerns over the coronavirus pandemic affecting the world, it’s hard to even imagine a time before it was making global news.

But to put things into perspective, the first signs of the virus only began on December 31st, when the Chinese government confirmed they were treating dozens of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause, reported the New York Times. The individuals are believed to have been infected sometime between December 12th and 29th.

On January 1st, Chinese health officials closed a seafood market in Wuhan believing wild animals that were being sold there were the source of the virus, reported CNN.

Six days later, Chinese authorities identified the illness as being caused by a novel coronavirus (COVD-19), which is common among animals. Almost immediately, on January 7th, the CDC established a COVID-19 Incident Management System.

China confirmed the first death from the virus on January 11th. The victim was a 61-year-old who contracted the coronavirus at the market in Wuhan.

On January 17th, the United States begins screening passengers at airports in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The first case of coronavirus is reported in the United States on January 21st. The Washington state man, in his 30s, reportedly contracted the virus after traveling to Wuhan.

The virus continues to spread throughout China and moves to Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines.

By February, there are outbreaks in Iran and Italy and cases throughout the rest of Europe.

On February 29th, a man in Seattle becomes the first person to die from coronavirus in the United States.

In response, Washington becomes the first state to declare a public health emergency and soon followed by others such as Florida, New York, Maryland, Oregon, Utah and California.

On March 11th, the World Health Organization officially calls the coronavirus a pandemic.

Since December 31st, over 120,000 people have been infected with the virus worldwide, with over 4700 deaths.

In the United States, there have so far been over 1000 positive cases of COVID-19 and at least 37 deaths.

According to the CDC, those that are most vulnerable are elderly adults and people with serious illnesses who may have a compromised immune system.

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