The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has killed at least 1,775 people since it first emerged in China last year. The coronavirus attacks the human body by targeting the respiratory system with flu-like symptoms and pneumonia.
The virus, a pathogen strain closely related to SARS, has been dubbed severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2.
But the coronavirus has already proven much deadlier than SARS, which killed nearly 800 people between 2002 and 2003.
Scientists are now focused on developing a cure and halting the number of infections outside of China’s borders.
Much remains unknown about how the virus works but what scientists do know, is the virus can rapidly spread from human to human.
What are the symptoms of a coronavirus infection?
Initial symptoms of coronavirus infection include fever, cough and muscle ache.
What to do if you suspect you may have coronavirus symptoms?
The NHS advises anyone who has travelled to Wuhan City or Hubei Province in the last 14 days to call 111.
Anyone who has travelled to other parts of mainland China, or places such as Macau and Hong Kong, should call 111 if they are suffering from fever, dry cough and shortness of breath.
The NHS said: “If there’s a chance you could have coronavirus, you may be asked to isolate yourself.
“This means that for 14 days after returning from China or other specified areas, you should:
“Stay at home
“Not go to work, school or public areas
“Not use public transport or taxis
“Ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for you
“Try to avoid visitors to your home – it’s OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food
“While the risk to people in the UK is low, these steps can help reduce the possible spread of infection.”