Case definitions for surveillance of Novel Coronavirus Disease, COVID-19

The Novel Corona Virus also refered to as SARS-CoV-2 causes the disease referred to as Corona Virus disease 2019 or COVID-19

The case definitions have been issued by WHO and  are based on the current information available and will be revised as new information accumulates. Countries may need to adapt case definitions depending on their own epidemiological situation. 

Suspect case 

A. A patient with acute respiratory illness (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND with no other aetiology that fully explains the clinical presentation AND a history of travel to or residence in a country/area or territory reporting local cases of COVID-19 disease during the 14 days prior to symptom onset. 

B. A patient with any acute respiratory illness AND having been in contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case (see definition of contact) in the last 14 days prior to onset of symptoms; 

C. A patient with severe acute respiratory infection (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease (e.g., cough, shortness breath) AND requiring hospitalization AND with no other aetiology that fully explains the clinical presentation

Definition of contact 

A contact is a person that is involved in any of the following: 

  • Providing direct care without proper personal protective equipment for COVID-19 patients 
  • Staying in the same close environment of a COVID-19 patient (including workplace, classroom, household, gatherings). 
  • Traveling together in close proximity (1 m) with a COVID-19 patient in any kind of conveyance within a 14‐day period after the onset of symptoms in the case under consideration. 

Click here for detail guidelines at WHO website


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