The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is urging member states, including those in the Caribbean, to strengthen surveillance activities to detect any unusual respiratory health event.
The advisory came as the number of people infected with a new virus in China tripled over the weekend.
In addition, the PAHO/WHO said it is not recommending any screening at entry points regarding this event, nor any restrictions on travel or trade.
There are now more than 200 cases, mostly in Wuhan, though the respiratory illness has also been detected in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Three people have died.
Japan, Thailand and South Korea have reported cases.