There have so far been more than 78,000 cases of the new coronavirus, 77,000 of them in China. The disease, which has spread to 30 countries, has been declared a global health emergency, and about 2,600 people have died.
Here are the BBC News Health team’s answers to a range of of readers’ questions about the disease. I am a British citizen living in Italy, what precautions should I take? Alex Darlbosco, Milan
A number of towns in the Veneto and Lombardy regions in the north of the country have been placed in quarantine and the Carnival of Venice has been cut short.
About 50,000 people will not be able to enter or leave affected areas for the next fortnight without special permission.
For people living in Italy – and the many thousands who travel there – a number of steps can be taken to limit the risk of coronavirus.
The virus spreads through human-to-human contact, via droplets from coughs.
So it’s important to wash the hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser or warm water and soap, and to avoid touching the face.In addition, you should avoid contact with anyone coughing, sneezing or with a fever.Anyone who thinks they may have caught coronavirus should speak to their doctor on the phone. Is coronavirus more infectious than flu? – Merry Fitzpatrick, Sydney It is still early days for making a direct comparison but we know both viruses are highly contagious.On average, people with the coronavirus infect two to three other people, while […]