Wuhan Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans.
The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. But the risk to individuals remains low.
Information about the virus
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world.
Coronaviruses are common amongst animals. They’re ‘zoonotic’, meaning that they can be spread between humans and animals.
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is believed to originate from bats or snakes. Research into where the infection started is ongoing, but a major source of the outbreak has been traced to a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan city, China.
The majority of people initially infected by 2019-nCoV had contact with the market in Wuhan city. However it appears that the infection is also capable of spreading from person to person.
Symptoms of coronavirus
Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
How is coronavirus spread between people?
Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets.