Since December 2019, there has been an outbreak of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in Wuhan, China. Meanwhile, the outbreak also drew attention and concern from the World Health Organization (WHO). COVID-19 is another human infectious disease caused by coronavirus. The transmission of COVID-19 is potent and the infection rate is fast. Since there is no specific drug for COVID-19, the treatment is mainly symptomatic supportive therapy. In addition, it should be pointed out that patients with severe illness need more aggressive treatment and meticulous care. Recently, accurate RNA detection has been decisive for the diagnosis of COVID-19. The development of highly sensitive RT-PCR has facilitated epidemiological studies that provide insight into the prevalence, seasonality, clinical manifestations and course of COVID-19 infection. In this review, we summarize the epidemiology and characteristics of COVID-19.