Human coronaviruses are the second most common cause of the common cold, and symptoms usually are mild to moderate. However, coronaviruses that infect animals sometimes change and become a new human coronavirus (as was the case with severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, in 2003). Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. Known as COVID-19, the virus has infected thousands of people in China, and some cases are showing up in other countries around the world, including the United States.

The symptoms most commonly reported with the 2019 coronavirus include fever, runny nose, dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, and body aches; these are the same symptoms of the common flu virus.

UAB Medicine has had no cases of coronavirus. We have procedures in place to deal with contagious severe illnesses, though we have not been notified of any member of our community with coronavirus. If you have concerning symptoms, please call your doctor before visiting.

Due to the growing number of coronavirus cases, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, and the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urges travelers returning from these areas to watch for symptoms for 14 days, as it can take up to two weeks for coronavirus symptoms to appear.

The links below provide more information on the 2019 coronavirus:


UAB maintains an active and well-prepared infectious disease program, and our Emergency Management Committee has adopted isolation and treatment procedures, with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our infectious disease specialists are equipped with the education, research, training, and experience to address both new and existing diseases.

We recommend general precautions, such as frequent handwashing and sneezing/coughing into your elbow, to prevent the spread of any virus, including seasonal flu, which is still active across Alabama and the United States. If you have not received a flu shot, it is not too late. For more information and guidance about common flu symptoms and treatment, please see UAB flu resources.




UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials