According to the WHO, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  
 
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
Up until December 2019, Wuhan novel coronavirus hadn’t been detected in humans. On 7th January 2020, WHO confirmed people had been infected with it in Wuhan, a city in China and on 21st January 2020, the CDC reported the first case in the USA.
 
The UK government hasn’t issued any alerts just yet, but they are keeping the situation under review. 
Check the NaTHNaC if you are traveling to China. 
 

How does it present?

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 
41 cases have been detected but only 1 death in a person who had a previous medical condition.
 

How to prevent it?

The WHO, the UK government and the CDC all recommend being very consistent with hand washing, wearing gloves and face masks if you or someone near you has cold, flu, cough or pneumonia symptoms. If you have been to Wuhan in the last 14 days, and have any of the symptoms listed above, please see your doctor.


As the one stop shop for anything first aid, you will be able to find everything you need to prevent infection in our Cleaning and Hygiene section.



Image of Wuhan By CraigTheBrit - Originally created and uploaded to the English Wikipedia by CraigTheBrit, using the same filename., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3743548