First cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the WHO European Region, 24 January to 21 February 2020

Spiteri G.,
Fielding J.,
Diercke M.,
Campese C.,
Enouf V.,
Gaymard A.,
Bella A.,
Sognamiglio P.,
Moros M.J.S.,
Riutort A.N.,
Demina Y.V.,
Mahieu R.,
Broas M.,
Bengnér M.,
Buda S.,
Schilling J.,
Filleul L.,
Lepoutre A.,
Saura C.,
Mailles A.,
Levy-Bruhl D.,
Coignard B.,
Bernard-Stoecklin S.,
Behillil S.,
van der Werf S.,
Valette M.,
Lina B.,
Riccardo F.,
Nicastri E.,
Casas I.,
Larrauri A.,
Castell M.S.,
Pozol F.,
Maksyutov R.A.,
Martin C.,
Ranst M.,
Bossuyt N.,
Siira L.,
Sane J.,
Tegmark-Wisell K.,
Palmérus M.,
Broberg E.K.,
Beauté J.,
Jorgensen P.,
Bundle N.,
Pereyaslov D.,
Adlhoch C.,
Pukkila J.,
Pebody R.,
Olsen S.,
Ciancio B.C.
Document Type
Source Title
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)


In the WHO European Region, COVID-19 surveillance was implemented 27 January 2020. We detail the first European cases. As at 21 February, nine European countries reported 47 cases. Among 38 cases studied, 21 were linked to two clusters in Germany and France, 14 were infected in China. Median case age was 42?years; 25 were male. Late detection of the clusters' index cases delayed isolation of further local cases. As at 5 March, there were 4,250 cases.

Migration angle
Region/Country (by coverage)
Index Keywords

RNA directed RNA polymerase; virus nucleoprotein; COVID-19; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; virus envelope protein; age distribution; artificial ventilation; asymptomatic infection; coronavirus disease 2019; Coronavirus infection; disease surveillance; disease transmission; envelope gene; Europe; geographic distribution; hospitalization; human; incidence; incubation time; intensive care; laboratory diagnosis; mortality; N gene; nasopharyngeal aspiration; nonhuman; nose smear; polymerase chain reaction; RdRp gene; Review; SARS-related coronavirus; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; sex difference; sputum analysis; throat culture; tracheal aspiration procedure; travel; virus pneumonia; World Health Organization; adolescent; adult; aged; Betacoronavirus; child; China; Europe; female; genetics; health survey; isolation and purification; male; middle aged; preschool child; real time polymerase chain reaction; risk factor; very elderly; virus pneumonia; World Health Organization; young adult; Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Betacoronavirus; Child; Child, Preschool; China; Coronavirus Infections; Europe; Female; Hospitalization; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Pneumonia, Viral; Population Surveillance; Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction; Risk Factors; Travel; Viral Envelope Proteins; World Health Organization; Young Adult