New Scientist Default Image

When did the coronavirus really reach the US and Europe?

Venice Carnival in February before festivities were cut short due to coronavirus

Reuters/Manuel Silvestri

WHEN did the coronavirus first reach Europe and the US?

No cases were reported outside China until January 2020, but a study published on 10 September claims that cases in the US began to rise by 22 December. Many people there and in Europe suspect they had coronavirus around this time. Yet overall, the evidence suggests there were few cases outside China this early on.

Covid-19 was first recognised as a new disease in Wuhan, China, over the course of December. On 13 January, the first …