Health and Science

Coronavirus: US confirms new case, Germany says it's at the beginning of an epidemic

US confirms first possible community spread of the coronavirus
US confirms first possible community spread of the coronavirus

The coverage on this live blog has ended — but for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, visit the live blog from CNBC's Asia-Pacific team.

All times below are in Eastern time.

  • Total confirmed cases: More than 81,000
  • Total deaths: At least 2,764

7:20 pm: Trump says schools should prepare pandemic plans 'just in case'

President Donald Trump said schools should start preparing their pandemic plans as a precaution in case the COVID-19 outbreak that's rapidly spreading through Asia, Europe and the Middle East takes hold in the U.S. "Every aspect of our society should be prepared. I don't think it's going to come to that," Trump said. "I think schools should be preparing, get ready just in case. The words are just in case. We don't think we're going to be there. We don't think we're going to be anywhere close." Watch the press conference here. —Kopecki

7:08 pm Saudi Arabia suspends entry for Umrah, visits to Al Masjid Al Nabawy

Saudi Arabia temporarily suspended entry to the kingdom for the Umrah Islamic pilgrimage and visits to al Masjid Al Nabawy in Medina, the ministry of foreign affairs announced on Twitter amid fears over the spread of the new coronavirus. The kingdom has also suspended entry to Saudi Arabia for anyone with tourism visas from countries where coronavirus is a threat. The Foreign Ministry called on citizens not to travel to countries where the new coronavirus is spreading. —Reuters

7 pm: Iraq bans public gatherings on coronavirus fear; travel ban totals nine countries

Iraq banned public gatherings and barred entry by travelers from Kuwait and Bahrain because of the spread of the new coronavirus, prohibiting travel to or from a total of nine countries. Health Minister Jaafar Allawi said in a decree that Iraqi citizens were now not allowed to travel to China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Italy, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Iraqis traveling from the nine countries and diplomats were exempt from the entry ban but would be subject to tests, Allawi said. —Reuters

A medical team wearing protective outfit awaits to check Iraqi passengers returning from Iran upon their arrival at the Najaf International Airport on February 21, 2020, after Iran announced cases of coronavirus infections in the Islamic republic.
Haidar Hamdani | AFP | Getty Images

6:50 pm: Trump says coronavirus risk to the American people 'remains very low'

President Donald Trump addressed the nation on the coronavirus outbreak, saying the risk to the American public "remains very low." Trump said Vice President Mike Pence will be heading up the U.S. response to any outbreak here. Trump announced the news conference in a tweet Wednesday morning, shortly after returning from a state visit to India where he downplayed the threat of the virus to the U.S. "We're really down to probably 10" cases, Trump told reporters there. The CDC has confirmed 60 cases in the U.S., 45 of which are patients who were repatriated from Wuhan, China or the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of Japan and are excluded from its official count. Watch the press conference here. —Breuninger

6:41 pm: Microsoft warns it will miss guidance for segment that includes Windows

Microsoft fell 2% in after-hours trading after saying it doesn't expect to meet the quarterly revenue guidance it previously provided for the segment that includes Windows. The move comes during a week that has seen a market selloff amid fears about the virus. Last week Apple disclosed that it did not expect to reach its own quarterly revenue guidance as a result of impact from COVID-19. Earlier this week HP, one of the biggest sellers of Windows PCs, said that corporate updates to Windows 10 could slip into future quarters. Microsoft said its supply chain was "returning to normal operations at a slower pace than anticipated" and its fiscal third-quarter earnings would miss its guidance for its More Personal Computing segment. —Novet

5:51 pm: JetBlue suspends change fees for all flights booked through March 11

JetBlue is waiving cancellation and change fees for all flights booked from Thursday through March 11 for travel completed by June 1. "While authorities have not issued any travel restrictions to the locations we fly, we want to give our customers some peace of mind that we are ready to support them should the situation change," said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue. The company said the policy change was made "given evolving coronavirus concerns." —Kopecki

5:47 pm: Germany says it can't trace cases and is heading for an epidemic

Germany is at the beginning of a coronavirus epidemic after new cases sprung up that can no longer be traced to the virus's original source in China, Health Minister Jens Spahn said. A total of five new cases of coronavirus in the west and south of Germany — taking the country's total to around 20 — meant the disease appeared to be moving to a new phase, Spahn told a news conference, urging health authorities and employers to review their pandemic planning.

"The infection chains are partially no longer trackable, and that is a new thing," Spahn said. "Large numbers of people have had contact with the patients, and that is a big change to the 16 patients we had until now where the chain could be traced back to the origin in China."


An Austrian train was halted in Munich, Germany, after carrying two women with suspected coronavirus from Venice, Italy.
picture alliance

4:40 pm: Booking Holdings warns coronavirus will hit Q1 revenue

Online travel giant Booking Holdings said the outbreak of coronavirus will damp travel demand and drive down sales in the first quarter. The company, which operates, airfare-search site and others said its revenue could fall by as much as 9% on the year in the first quarter. It expects travel bookings to drop by 10% to 15%. "The coronavirus has had a significant and negative impact across our business during the 1st quarter. It is not possible to predict where, and to what degree, outbreaks of the coronavirus will disrupt travel patterns," the company said in an earnings filing. The company said its forecast included wider ranges than usual because of the "high level of uncertainty in forecasting the coronavirus and its associated impact on the company and the travel industry generally." —Josephs

4:24 pm: 10-year Treasury yield drops to new record low of 1.3%

The 10-year Treasury yield turned lower after an initial bump higher, falling to a new record low amid heightened fears about the fast-spreading coronavirus and its effect on the global economy. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, fell four basis points to a 1.302%, just below its last record low reached on Tuesday of 1.307%. The benchmark yield was about 3 basis points higher earlier in the session. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower at 1.807%, near its record low. Investors sought the safety of U.S. government debt and fled riskier assets on fears that the deadly coronavirus will disrupt the global economy growth. The S&P 500 posted back-to-back losses of more than 3% this week, suffering its biggest two-day plunge since 2015. —Li

An ambulance drives through the main gate of US Army Camp Carroll in Chilgok, about 30 kilometres north of Daegu, on February 26, 2020.
Jung Yeon-Je | AFP | Getty Images

4:12 pm: FDA official says vaccine's human trials too aggressive

Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, which determines the safety of effectiveness of vaccines, said that the three-month estimate for a coronavirus vaccine to enter human trials may be too aggressive. "We're hoping in next quarter or 2 there will be a vaccine that will be ready to move" into human trials, Marks said at a conference in New York. —Reuters

3:34 pm: 83 New York residents placed in self-quarantine after returning from China

Nassau County health officials said that they have placed 83 Americans in self-quarantine after returning to New York from China amid concerns they were exposed to the new coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified local officials that a plane was carrying Nassau County residents with "potential exposure" to the virus, Health Commissioner for Nassau County Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein told reporters. Potential exposure, in this case, means that they had traveled to China in the past 14 days. —Feuer

3:30 pm: Workday cancels internal sales conference attended by thousands

Workday has canceled its annual internal sales meeting over fears of the coronavirus outbreak and will be moving the program online. The Workday Sales Kickoff, or SKO, was scheduled for March 2 through March 4 in Orlando, Florida, and was supposed to draw around 3,000 people, a spokeswoman told CNBC. "The well-being of our employees and communities is our top priority, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to make our global sales kickoff a virtual experience to ensure we rally our team in the safest way possible," Workday spokesperson Jeff Shadid confirmed in a statement to CNBC. —Farr

3:15 pm: Norway detects its first case of coronavirus

Norway's Public Health Agency said that one person had tested positive for coronavirus and was being kept isolated at home, in what was the country's first confirmed case.The person had returned from China late last week, but did not appear ill and was unlikely to infect others, the agency said. —Reuters

2:51 pm: Video conferencing company Zoom adds more users

Video conferencing software company Zoom has brought in more active users so far this year than it did in 2019 amid corporate concerns about the spread of coronavirus, Bernstein Research analysts wrote in a note distributed to clients on Wednesday. The usage spike illustrates one company thriving while some others are seeing cracks because of the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. —Novet

2:17 pm: Nation of Georgia reports first case

Georgia has reported the first case of coronavirus in the country, the health minister said. Ekaterine Tikaradze said that a Georgian citizen, who was traveling from Iran, crossed the border from neighboring Azerbaijan. "He was immediately taken to hospital from the border check-point," Tikaradze said. —Reuters

Medical staff from the IHU (Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire) Mediterranee Infection Institute are at work in the laboratory to analyse samples on the possible presence of the COVID-19 on February 26, 2020 in Marseille, France.
Gerard Julien | AFP | Getty Images

1:46 pm: US confirms new case

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar confirmed a new case of the coronavirus in the U.S. "Coming into this hearing, I was informed that we have a 15th confirmed case, the epidemiology of which we are still discerning," he testified before a House panel. The new case brings the total number of cases in the U.S. to 60. The CDC has separated out 45 confirmed infections in people evacuated from a cruise ship in Japan or from Wuhan, China from its official case count. —Feuer

1:37 pm: Coronavirus causes Moody's to slash global vehicle sales forecast for 2020

Investor Service is slashing its global vehicle sales forecast as the coronavirus outbreak reduces demand and disrupts automotive supply chains. The firm now expects global auto sales to slump 2.5% in 2020 instead of a 0.9% drop previously expected. Moody's cited the COVID-19 epidemic as well as stricter emissions regulations for the overall decline in vehicle sales from 90.3 million to 88 million. —Wayland

1:17 pm: Pakistan confirms first two cases

Pakistan has confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus but both patients are in a "stable" condition, the health minister said. "Both cases are being taken care of according to clinical standard protocols & both of them are stable. No need to panic, things are under control," Health Minister Zafar Mirza tweeted. One of the cases was detected in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, a provincial official said. It was not immediately clear where the second infected person was based. —Reuters

1:10 pm: Presidential contenders take aim at Trump's coronavirus response

Democratic presidential candidates at Tuesday night's debate took aim at the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus outbreak. Some candidates called for more funding to be allocated to the CDC's effort to prepare for an outbreak in the U.S. Others criticized President Donald Trump's apparently lax attitude regarding the outbreak, which has now infected at least 81,000 in more than 30 countries and killed at least 2,764 people. The criticism came after the CDC stepped up its call Tuesday for the public to start preparing for a possible pandemic outbreak in the U.S. —Feuer

12:15 pm: CDC confirms 59 US cases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 59 cases in the U.S., a majority of which came from passengers repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of Japan. The CDC updated its case count on its website late Tuesday. The data shows that 42 of the cases are attributed to the cruise ship, three patients were infected in Wuhan and later evacuated to the U.S. and the rest were largely infected while traveling overseas. Just two cases were contracted through person-to-person contact in the U.S., the CDC said. —Kopecki

12:09 pm: Delta slashes South Korea service because of outbreak

Delta Air Lines slashes its service to South Korea from the U.S. to 15 flights a week from 28 as the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly outside of China. More than 1,100 people have been infected with COVID-19 in South Korea, the largest outbreak outside of China. Delta said it is temporarily cutting its service from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Seoul from Feb. 29 through April 30 and cut service to five times a week from Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle until May 1. "The health and safety of customers and employees is Delta's top priority and the airline has put in place a number of processes and mitigation strategies to respond to the growing concern," Delta said. Other airlines may follow suit due to a decline in demand. —Josephs

South Korean tourists leaving Israel are pictured at a pavillon separated from the main terminal of Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on February 24, 2020.

12:06 pm: More video game companies pull out of PAX East

Projekt RED and PUGB Corp. joined a growing list of major video game companies to cancel their appearance at the PAX East conference in Boston that's scheduled to start Thursday. Already Sony PlayStation, Oculus, Electronic Arts, Kojima Productions, Capcom, and Square Enix have either pulled out of PAX East or the Game Developers Conference, or GDC 2020, a video game conference set to be held in San Francisco next month. —Whitten

11:53: Travel restrictions 'irrelevant' if coronavirus becomes a pandemic

Stringent travel restrictions imposed on inbound flights from China to contain the coronavirus outbreak become "irrelevant" in a potential pandemic because "you can't keep out the entire world," a top U.S. health official said a day after the Trump administration braced the public for its eventual spread here. "When it was focused only on China, we had a period of time, temporary, that we could do a travel restriction that prevented cases from coming into the U.S.," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "When you have multiple countries involved, it's very difficult to do, in fact, it's almost impossible." —Higgins-Dunn

Dr. Fauci: More coronavirus funding will be needed in the future
Dr. Fauci: More coronavirus funding will be needed in the future

11:47 am: Coronavirus cuts Trump's Dow gains since election to 48% from 61%

President Donald Trump may be livid about this week's market sell-off, but the rally in U.S. equities since his election is still well intact. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 47.7% since Trump's election through Tuesday's close, which brought the index's week-to-date point loss to more than 1,900 points, more than 6.5%. Adding in Wednesday's partial rebound, the Dow is up 49.9% since the market's close on Nov. 8, 2016. At a recent record high, the Dow's performance since Trump's election exceeded 60% before falling more than 10 percentage points amid the sell-off. These calculations measure the percent price change of the Dow over a given period and exclude fixed returns like dividends. —Franck

11:24 am: Billionaire Cooperman says the stock market sell-off has created bargains

Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman said he's using the market scare to buy more stocks because he thinks the coronavirus will have disappeared by June. Cooperman told CNBC he's been a net buyer in the last few days and is seeing "a lot of value in the market" as fears about the coronavirus picked up. —Franck

11:02 am: New coronavirus cases outside China exceeded those in China for the first time

The number of new COVID-19 cases outside China exceeded those inside the country for the first time, the World Health Organization announced. Outside of China, there are now 2,790 cases of the coronavirus across 37 countries, including 44 deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to a transcript of remarks from Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO. "The sudden increases of cases in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea are deeply concerning," Tedros said. "Yesterday, the number of new cases reported outside China exceeded the number of new cases in China for the first time." —Lovelace

9:54 am: Brazil Health Ministry confirms first coronavirus case in Latin America

The Brazilian government confirmed the first case of a fast-spreading new coronavirus in Latin America, officials from the Brazil Health Ministry said, after a Sao Paulo hospital flagged the possible infection of a 61-year-old who had visited Italy. The diagnosis comes during Brazil's carnival holiday, a peak time for domestic travel when millions of revelers throng to major cities for raucous street celebrations. Brazil is tracking 20 suspected cases of the virus in the country, health officials told reporters at a news briefing. —Reuters

Brazilian citizens from China's coronavirus-struck Wuhan, arrive at the Air Force base of Anapolis, State of Goias, Brazil, February 9, 2020.
Adriano Machado | Reuters

8:31 am: Italy cases triple in two days as outbreak surges

The number of cases in Italy has tripled over the last two days, rising to 374 confirmed diagnoses from 124 on Monday, according to data from Italy's Ministry of Health and the World Health Organizations. The virus has killed 12 people so far, up from two reported deaths two days ago. A bulk of the cases are still concentrated in the wealthy Lombardy region in Northern Italy. The country's first two cases were confirmed on Jan. 30, a couple of Chinese tourists, the Ministry said. The first confirmed case of secondary transmission occurred at a hospital on Feb. 18, it said. —Kopecki

Medical staff check incoming passengers coming from Italy to detect any possible symptoms of Covid-19 also known as Coronavirus at Albanias main port city of Durres on February 26, 2020.
Gent Shkullaku | AFP | Getty Images

8:46 am: Trump announces news conference with CDC officials

President Donald Trump revealed in a tweet Wednesday that he will hold a news conference at the White House with CDC officials on the coronavirus at 6 p.m. ET. The president made the announcement after attacking the media for "panicking markets" through their coverage of the virus. —Breuninger.

7:40 am: Toyota says Japan plants might get hit by virus-related supply issues

Toyota Motor said operations at its plants in Japan might be affected by supply-chain issues due to the coronavirus outbreak in the coming weeks, as the global outbreak picks up. The automaker, which operates 16 vehicle and components sites in Japan, said it would decide on how to continue operations at its domestic plants from the week of March 9, after keeping output normal through next week. Plants could be affected by potential supply disruptions in China as some plants in the epicenter of the outbreak are unable to produce and transport goods, while some plants remain closed under orders by regional authorities. —Reuters

Here's how Chinese consumers are handling the coronavirus threat
Here's how Chinese consumers are handling the coronavirus threat

7:30 am: Rio Tinto's best earnings since 2011 clouded by virus risks

Global mining group Rio Tinto warned that the outbreak might create challenging conditions over the next six months, with more disruptions to global supply chains and potential delays to projects in Australia. The miner's warning comes on the heels of its best underlying earnings since 2011, buttressed by a sizable jump in iron ore prices last year. However, 2020 looks uncertain with economic activity stalling in many parts of China as it grapples to contain the virus. "Today, our iron ore books are full. But we are likely to see some short-term impact such as on supply chains and possibly in provisional services from Chinese suppliers," Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques told reporters in a teleconference. —Reuters

People wearing protective face masks sit outside the AHEPA hospital, where the first confirmed coronavirus case is being treated, in Thessaloniki, Greece, February 26, 2020.
Alexandros Avramidis | Reuters

7:23 am: World's biggest spirits company Diageo warns of coronavirus hit

Diageo said Wednesday the spread of the coronavirus in Asia could knock up to $260 million off its profit in 2020. Trade has been significantly disrupted since the end of January and the group expects this to last at least into March. After that, Diageo anticipates a gradual improvement with consumption returning to normal levels toward the end of fiscal 2020. The company estimated the negative impact of the virus outbreak on the group's organic net sales and organic operating profit to be 225 million to 325 million pounds and 140 million to 200 million pounds ($260 million) respectively. It cautioned that these ranges exclude any impact of coronavirus on its other markets beyond China and Asia Pacific. —Reuters

6:08 am: France reports second death from coronavirus, Greece confirms first case

Europe reported new coronavirus cases with France seeing its second death and Italy reporting its 12th death. Greece confirmed its first coronavirus case, a 38-year-old Greek woman who had traveled from an area of northern Italy, according to Sotiris Tsiodras, a representative of the Ministry of Health, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, Italy has now reported that four children in the country have also contracted the flu-like illness.

5:24 am: Another Chinese city to test all travelers for coronavirus

As South Korea and Japan report more cases of coronavirus, another Chinese city near the eastern Asian countries is stepping up restrictions on travelers. A major city in Shandong province, Yantai, announced all travelers from abroad who arrive in the city will receive free nucleic acid tests for the virus. This move follows an earlier announcement from Weihai, another city in the province, that travelers from Japan and South Korea will be put in hotels for a 14-day free quarantine. South Korea and Japan are the two countries closest to China's northeastern provinces and Jiaodong Peninsula. Shandong's Qingdao, Weihai and Yantai are home to hundreds of Korean companies and the majority of these Korean investors are from Seoul, Gyeonggi-do, Incheon and Bushan, according to public data. —Wu

4:29 am: As China ramps up for Winter Olympics, virus keeps skiers away

In Hebei province, a major location for China's Winter Olympics in 2022, ice and snow sports venues reported a drop of 2.78 million visits from 2019, according to Peng Weiyong, deputy director of the economic department of the General Administration of Sport. For the 2018-2019 season, Hebei province reported 10 million trips to its winter sports venues. Peng noted that more than 770 ski resorts have been built nationwide, and most have been closed since Jan. 24 due to the coronavirus. The closures also come amid historically high snowfall in the region. —Cheng

Read CNBC's coverage from the Asia-Pacific overnight: France sees second death from virus; Greece confirms first case

CNBC's Jordan Novet, Yun Li, Christina Farr, Jordan Novet, Michael Wayland, Leslie Josephs, Sarah Whitten, Noah Higgins-Dunn, Thomas Franck, Kevin Breuninger, Evelyn Cheng, Christine Wang, Eustance Huang, Holly Ellyatt, Weizhen Tan and Reuters contributed to this report.

'No doubt' coronavirus will have real financial impacts, Carlyle Group CEO says
'No doubt' coronavirus will have real financial impacts, Carlyle Group CEO says