The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Oregon Health Authority are closely following an outbreak of a new coronavirus that began in December 2019.

This respiratory infection has been called a “novel coronavirus”, formally named in February as COVID-2019. Other outbreaks of coronaviruses, like “SARS” and “MERS”, have caused serious illness. Health officials are still learning about this illness, so advice may change as more information becomes available.

There have been thousands of people infected with this new coronavirus, most of them in China. Many fewer cases have been reported in other countries, including the United States. The first reported case of this virus in the United States was Jan. 21 in Washington State in someone who had recently traveled to Wuhan, China. 

There have been no cases of novel coronavirus in Oregon.

What we know

This outbreak probably started after contact with sick animals. The first people who got sick visited the same animal market in Wuhan City, China. That market closed, but cases are still being reported. The virus is now spreading from person to person.

Those symptoms can include cough, trouble breathing and a fever. People who have underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk of severe illness. For other coronaviruses, it can take anywhere from 2 to 14 days for a person exposed to the virus to have symptoms.

Several U.S. airports are checking the health of travelers from Wuhan. Portland International Airport is not one of the airports where travelers from Wuhan will arrive.

Learn More

For the most current information on Oregon’s response to this outbreak, visit the Oregon Health Authority website.

For the most current information about this outbreak, go to the CDC website.

Do you still have questions about this virus? Ask our health experts through this online form.

Situation Reports

Multnomah County Public Health releases weekly situation reports on its actions to prepare for and respond to the risk of local exposure to Novel Coronavirus COVID-2019:

COVID-19 Situation Report 3 (144.42 KB)

COVID-19 Situation Report 2 (119.97 KB)

COVID-19 Situation Report 1 (81.44 KB)