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COVID-19 cases worldwide as of February 26, 2020, by exposure location

Outside of China, the country most affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was the Republic of Korea, as of February 26, 2020. The most likely place of exposure had been determined for around half of the cases in the country, while the other half remained under investigation. Around 20 people had sustained transmission from international locations, while approximately 600 people had been exposed to the virus while in the country.

Lessons learned from SARS outbreak

COVID-19 is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus is highly transmissible and is being spread through the air in tiny droplets expelled by someone who is coughing, sneezing, or speaking. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, and this novel coronavirus shares many similarities with the SARS virus that was first identified in 2002. The SARS-CoV virus was also transmitted through the air, and people would become infected if they breathed in the droplets or touched a surface where droplets had recently landed.

What can people do to protect themselves?

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. This is best achieved by following everyday preventive actions: wash your hands regularly with soap and water, keep a distance between yourself and others, and cover your own mouth and nose when you are coughing and sneezing. The use of face masks in public places is also encouraged to reduce the risk of transmission.

Number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases worldwide as of February 26, 2020, by country and place of exposure*

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period

as of February 26, 2020

Supplementary notes

* Note that these cases may not equal the total number of cases in the country as cases with the site of transmission still under investigation are not listed.

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