The UGA Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases (CEID)
Coronavirus Working Group


Novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China (COVID-19)

On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization was notified about the emergence of a novel coronavirus (known as 2019-nCov) in Wuhan, China. In the first weeks of January 2020, the viral disease spread across China and emerged in several other countries. Coinciding media reports about an alarming number of accumulating cases further indicated that the spread of the virus would likely become a global concern in a matter of days. On January 21, 2020, the CDC activated its emergency response system. On February 11, the WHO named the disease COVID-19.

2019 Coronavirus Tracker

Due to the lack of prior data during the emergence of a novel pathogen, the ability to respond quickly and effectively depends on the timely assessment of information collected in real time. On January 24, 2020, the The Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases (CEID) at the University of Georgia formed the Coronavirus Working Group, a group of about 20 scientists with data science expertise in data manipulation and interpretation, visualization, GIS, machine learning, computational statistics, and dynamical modeling.

The Working Group’s 2019 Coronavirus Tracker provides data-driven, information rich situation awareness about the rapidly changing conditions of the current outbreak of COVID-19. Activities include:

  • Mapping the spatial spread of COVID-19 within China and abroad
  • Developing models for understanding the early stages of transmission and extrapolation to future events
  • Estimating key parameters related to transmission
  • Compiling clinical and epidemiological information to aid in the development and interpretation of model outputs as well as understanding of events as they are observed
  • Assessing the effectiveness of public health interventions on containment


The Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases (CEID) is a research unit housed in the Odum School of Ecology. The mission of the CEID is to bring together social and natural scientists through data science, basic biology, and scientific synthesis.

Latest News & Updates

Assessing the impact of mass screening and testing

February 21, 2020
The CEID Coronavirus Working Group has released an assessment of the impact of symptom-based mass screening and testing intervention (MSTI) during novel disease outbreaks to help understand how current mass testing and screening may be affecting the COVID-19 outbreak in China.

Estimates of case fatality rate added

February 20, 2020
Estimates of the case fatality rate CFR have been added to the Epidemic Characteristics page. The case fatality rate is the death rate among those with COVID-19 disease.

Effective reproduction number outside China updated

February 20, 2020
Estimates of the effective reproduction number Reff outside of China have been updated to account for heterogeneity in transmission. Reff is the average number of secondary infections, taking into account immunity in the population and containment efforts. When Reff < 1.0 containment occurs.
See R-effective outside China for details.

Artist’s impression: SARS-CoV-2 Based on micrographs of SARS and MERS coronaviruses Image credit: Chloe Parker

Virus causing COVID-19 disease named “SARS-CoV-2”

February 17, 2020
The virus causing the current outbreak of COVID-19 disease has been officially named “Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 is a sister virus to other SARS-CoVs. The new name replaces the informal virus name “2019-nCoV” and is not to be confused with the disease it causes, COVID-19.