COVID-19 Timeline: How and when did the virus spillover to humans?

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The current timeline for the COVID-19 pandemic begins with a cluster of viral pneumonia cases that was discovered in Wuhan in late December 2019, and were reported to the World Health Organization on December 31, 2019. However, as scientists continue to check samples going back through the year, there has been evidence to suggest the virus was moving around as early as March 2019. In Barcelona, wastewater samples have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. What is the origin of the virus? How and when did it spillover to humans?

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In This Story: Covid-19

Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
  • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
  • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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