Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times
The coronavirus, which surfaced 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.
Dec. 31 Chinese authorities were treating dozens of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause.
On Dec. 31, the government in Wuhan, China, confirmed that health authorities were treating dozens of cases. Days later, researchers in China identified a new virus behind an illness that had infected dozens of people in Asia. At the time, there was no evidence that the virus was readily spread by humans. Health officials in China were monitoring it to ensure that the outbreak would not develop into something more severe.
Jan. 11 China reported its first death.
On Jan. 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 customer at the market in Wuhan, where the illness is thought to have originated, and he 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.Jan. 20 Other countries, including the United States, confirmed cases. […]