The Google Trends chart below is an indication of the searching behavior for the Coronavirus and related terms. As you can see, the interest within the USA started roughly around the same time the first the WHO (World Health Organization) was alerted something was going on China.
Below is a Timeline of events, according to the ABC News Article entitled: Timeline: How coronavirus got started The outbreak spanning the globe began in December, in Wuhan, China.
Dec 31, 2019 – WHO says mysterious pneumonia sickens dozens in China. Health authorities in China confirm that dozens of people in Wuhan, China, are being treated for pneumonia from an unknown source. Many of those sickened had visited a live animal market in Wuhan, but authorities say there is no evidence of the virus spreading from person to person.
Jan 11, 2020. China reports 1st coronavirus death. Chinese state media reports the first death from novel coronavirus, a 61-year-old man who had visited the live animal market in Wuhan.
Jan. 21, 2020: 1st confirmed case of coronavirus in the USA. A man in his 30s from Washington state, who traveled to Wuhan, is diagnosed with novel coronavirus. Japan, South Korea and Thailand also report their first cases one day prior.
Starting on February 26, we start to see a major shift in searches with the 1st case of suspected local transmission of the virus. On February 29th, the USA reports it’s first death and then CDC lifts restrictions on testing.