What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness from the common cold to more severe diseases, including Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is called novel because it is a new strain that have not been previously identified in humans. [i]


Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. [ii]

Suspected Case Definition

The current 2019-nCoV suspected case definition is:

  • History of travel in, or transit through mainland China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), in the 14 days before illness onset.
  • Or close contact with a confirmed case of 2019nCoV;


  • Acute resipiratory infection (with at least one of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, cough or sore throat) with or without fever

If a patient meets the suspected case definition:

Coronavirus Quick Links

Australian Government Department of Health

World Health Organisation


State/Territory Departments of Health

Collection procedures, pathology testing and notification requirements are specific to each jurisdiction.

Access local information via the links below: