The virus, currently called 2019-nCoV, was pinned after a wave of pneumonia-like diseases appeared in the Chinese province of Hubei. It was first reported to the World Health Organization on December 31, and in the intervening month, scientistsincluding deadly SARS and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome.  On January 30, a special WHO committee declared an of international importance, stating "the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems." Human-to-human transfer has been confirmed outside of China, including in the US, leading authorities around the world are starting to limit travel and enforce quarantine to protect themselves from spreading.
On Friday, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azarstating the nation's intention to protect and respond to the outbreak while noting that & # 39; the risk for Americans remains low & # 39 ;. As part of the reaction, foreign nationals who have been to China are being denied entry to the US. Starting Sunday, US citizens who have visited the Hubei province, where the outbreak began, will be quarantined for up to 14 days, while those traveling through other regions in China will be followed and must be quarantined themselves.
Australia followed its example. When three new cases were announced on Friday, Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, announced that traveling from mainland China would be denied entry to the country from 1 February.
The situation is evolving rapidly. We have collected everything we know about the new virus, the future for researchers and some steps you can take to reduce your risk.
What is a corona virus?
Coronaviruses belong to a family known as Coronaviridae and under an electron microscope they look like pointed rings. They are named after these spikes, which form a halo or crown around their viral envelope.
Coronaviruses contain a strand of RNA in the envelope and cannot propagate as a virus without getting into living cells and hijacking their machines. The spikes on the viral envelope help coronaviruses bind to cells, giving them a way to come in, like opening the door with C4. Once inside, they turn the cell into a virus factory, using the molecular conveyor to produce more viruses, which are then sent from the cell. The virus progeny infects other cells and the cycle starts again. Typically, these types of viruses are found in animals ranging from cattle and pets to animals in the wild, such as bats. When they make the leap to humans, they can cause fever, respiratory diseases and inflammation in the lungs. In people who are immunocompromised, such as the elderly or people with HIV / AIDS, such viruses can cause serious respiratory diseases, leading to pneumonia and even death.
Extremely pathogenic coronaviruses were behind SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome) outbreaks in the last two decades. These viruses were easily transmitted from person to person. SARS, which emerged in the early 2000s, infected more than 8,000 people and resulted in nearly 800 deaths. MERS, which appeared in early 2010, infected nearly 2,500 people and led to more than 850 deaths.
Where did the virus come from?
The virus appears to have originated in Wuhan, a Chinese city about 650 miles south of Beijing with a population of more than 11 million people. The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which sells fish, as well as a range of meat from other animals, including bats and snakes, was involved in the spread at the beginning of January.
Prestigious medical journal The Lancet published a comprehensive summary of the clinical characteristics of patients infected with the disease dating back to December 1, 2019. The very first identified patient was not exposed to the market, suggesting that the virus perhaps came from somewhere else and was transported to the market, where it was able to thrive.
Chinese authorities closed the fish market on January 1.
Markets are involved in the origin and spread of viral diseases in previous epidemics, including SARS and MERS. A large majority of people who have so far confirmed that the new corona virus has come down have been at the Huanan Seafood marketplace in recent weeks. The market seems to be an integral part of the puzzle, but researchers continue to test and investigate the original cause.
An early report, published in the Journal of Medical Virology on January 22, suggested that snakes were the most likely animal reservoir for wildlife before 2019-nCoV, but the work was solidly refuted by two further studies just one day later , on Jan 23.