This virus probably originally emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person-to-person. It's important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. At this time, it's unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.
Diagnosis occurs through laboratory testing of respiratory specimens and serum (blood). Some coronavirus strains cause the common cold and patients tested by their health care provider may test positive for these types. The 2019 nCoV strain can only be detected at a public health laboratory.
Currently there are no available vaccines that protect against coronaviruses.
There is no specific treatment. Early diagnosis and general supportive care are important. Most of the time, symptoms will resolve on their own. People who have serious disease with complications can be cared for in hospital.
Follow advice from your local healthcare provider and the local government, and update yourself on WHO recommendations as well as the latest information from your embassy in China (or Dubai). The WHO also recommends regularly checking advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre.
If you develop a fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after traveling to China, you should immediately call your local health department. They will work with a healthcare provider to assess your symptoms. If you seek medical attention, it is extremely important that you call before you go and describe your symptoms and travel history.
2019 nCoV has been shown to spread between people. It's not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person-to-person. Human coronaviruses typically spread through the air by coughing and sneezing.
Current symptoms reported for patients with 2019-nCoV have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever1, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of the 2019-nCoV. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Analysis of the genetic tree of this virus is ongoing to know the specific source of the virus. SARS, another coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from civet cats, while MERS, another coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from camels.
Health officials say there are likely to be more cases, especially from people who traveled to China. The people at greatest risk would be health-care workers who are caring for these patients - because of their continued exposure. But they are also on the highest alert and are taking precautions.