A newly identified respiratory virus that causes pneumonia was recently discovered in China.
On December 31, China alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in the central Hubei province. At the time the virus was unknown.
By the January 7, they announced that they had identified a new virus. The novel virus is from the coronavirus family, which includes SARS and the common cold, and is named 2019-nCoV. Coronaviruses are common and spread through coughing, sneezing, or touching an infected person.
What are the symptoms?
Common signs of infection include fever, coughing and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, SARS, kidney failure and death. The incubation period of the new coronavirus is thought to be between one and 14 days. The virus is contagious before symptoms appear.
So what does that mean for the UK?
Anyone who has returned to Britain from Wuhan in China in the last two weeks should self-isolate and stay indoors, the UK's health minister said.
As of 2pm on Monday 27th January 2020, Britain had tested 73 people for the Wuhan coronavirus but has not had any confirmed cases.
"We are ... asking anyone in the UK who has returned from Wuhan in the last 14 days to self-isolate, to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people," Matt Hancock said.
"Public Health England officials are continuing to trace people who have arrived in the UK from Wuhan. Having eliminated those who we know have since left the country, there are 1,460 people we're seeking to locate."
Preventative Measures In the midst of one of the outbreak employers are having to look at securing better preventative measures.
The World Health Organisation recommends washing hands with soap and water before eating, after using the bathroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and before and after caring for a sick friend or a family member.
The most effective way to clean hands is to wet them with clean water, then apply soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds, before rinsing and drying with a clean towel.
Other recommendations are cleaning all "high-touch" surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and desks with anti-bacterial sprays & high strength multi-surface cleaning products.