Coronavirus, that spread to Italy a few days ago, has now reached other European countries and even crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil, where the first case in the South American country was confirmed.

Health experts across the globe now have two containment issues, the spread of the virus and the containment of hysteria that can arise due to fake news and other sources of disinformation.

The following is a week by week timeline of a country’s first confirmed COVID-19 case beginning with China on Dec. 31, 2019, when the World Health Organization’s (WHO) China office heard the first reports of a previously unknown virus behind several pneumonia cases in Wuhan:

  • Jan. 13 through 19 - Thailand, Japan
  • Jan. 20 – 26 - France, Republic of Korea (South Korea), United States, Canada, Vietnam, Australia, Nepal, Malaysia
  • Jan. 27 – Feb. 2 - Italy, Germany, Singapore, United Kingdom, India, United Arab Emirates, Philippines, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Spain
  • Feb. 3 - 9 - Belgium
  • Feb. 10 - 17 – Taiwan, Egypt
  • Feb. 18 - 27 – Estonia, Denmark, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, North Macedonia, Georgia, Romania, Pakistan, Norway, Greece, Brazil, Croatia, Algeria, Austria, Switzerland, Iraq, Oman, Afghanistan, Lebanon

The listing indicates that the virus was detected in European countries as early as late January with the bulk of new cases coming in two waves in the Jan. 27 – Feb. 2 week and again in the Feb. 18-27 week.

The WHO reports there are now more new cases being recorded outside China than inside the country, where the deadly virus first emerged. Northern Italy has been the target of travel bans in Europe with its 374 cases and 12 deaths and the European Union (EU) is trying to minimize any hysteria related to the outbreak.

EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides told reporters in Rome on Wednesday, “This is a situation of concern, but we must not give in to panic. We must also be vigilant when it comes to misinformation and disinformation.”

Other worries fueling any hysteria are that Iran “seems to be concealing information about the epidemic in line with China’s example” and blocking independent reporting of the outbreak, according to Reporters Without Borders.

Poor countries with dense populations are the most at-risk and now that the virus has crept into Egypt and Brazil, the fear of how poor countries in Africa and Latin America will cope with potential outbreaks is keeping a lot of people awake at night.