CDC Home

In the News
Novel (New) Coronavirus in the Arabian Peninsula

This information is current as of today, February 16, 2013 at 09:25 EST

Updated: December 20, 2012

What Is the Current Situation?

In recent months, a new (or novel) coronavirus has been identified in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan. Public health authorities around the world are increasing monitoring of respiratory illnesses and collaborating to learn more about the new coronavirus and the disease in humans.

The risk of the new coronavirus for travelers is thought to be low. CDC recommends that travelers to countries on the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries monitor their health and see a doctor right away if symptoms such as cough, breathing difficulties, and fever develop. Countries on and near the Arabian Peninsula are Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen.

What Is a Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a cause of the common cold. A coronavirus also was the cause of the severe respiratory illness called SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). SARS caused a global epidemic in 2003, but there has not been any known case of SARS since 2004. This new coronavirus is not similar to the coronavirus that caused SARS.

What Is Known About This New Coronavirus?

Little is known about this new coronavirus. For example, it is not yet known how this virus is spread. What is known is that this virus is different from any other that has been previously found in humans. Symptoms of this new virus appear to be fever, cough, and breathing difficulties.

How Can Travelers Protect Themselves?

Although little is known at this time about how this virus is spread, taking these everyday actions can help prevent the spread of germs and protect against colds, flu, and other illness:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • There is no vaccine for this new coronavirus, but there are shots available to protect you from other illnesses. Be sure you are up to date with all of your shots, and see your healthcare provider at least 4 to 6 weeks if possible before travel to get any additional shots. Visit CDC’s Coronavirus website for more information about this situation and Travelers' Health website for more information on healthy travel.
  • This new coronavirus causes a respiratory infection that may be confused with influenza. It is therefore especially important to get a flu vaccine as this will help your doctor look for other causes for your illness should you develop any flu-like symptoms.
  • If you are sick
    • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Avoid contact with other people to keep from infecting them.

Additional Information:

Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • New Hours of Operation
    8am-8pm ET/Monday-Friday
    Closed Holidays
  • Contact CDC-INFO The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #