The Wuhan coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV – first discovered in Wuhan, central China, on December 31, 2019, has spread so far that it is close to becoming a global pandemic.
The virus has reportedly spread to at least six other countries. These countries include Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea.
The virus has killed 17 people and infected more than 540.
On Wednesday, Chinese authorities announced that the entire city of Wuhan will be quarantined, with all transportation halted.
The virus can pass from human to human, and experts are fighting to understand it and stop it from spreading further.
Here is how to prevent contracting the virus:
- Avoid contact with sick people, animal markets, and live or dead animals (including uncooked meat).
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical care right away.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
Below is a graph showing how quickly the virus has spread: