It started as a few cases of pneumonia in workers at a fish market in central China. Now a new virus has the world on alert.
Late December 2019, doctors began seeing a new type of viral pneumonia — fever, cough, difficulty breathing — in people who worked at or visited a seafood market in the suburbs of Wuhan in China.
Since then, hundreds more cases have been reported and a handful of people have died.
On Tuesday, it was confirmed a Brisbane man was in isolation in his home as Queensland Health authorities ran tests on whether he was carrying the new strain. Australian airports are ramping up their screening procedures of passengers arriving from China.
Cases have also been reported in the United States, Thailand and Japan, among others.
So what do we know about the novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, and how worried should we be? Here’s what you need to know.
Image: AP/Kim Ju-sun
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Brisbane, capital of Queensland, Australia, is a large city on the Brisbane River. Population: 2.28 million (2016).
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Japan is a great power and a member of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations (since 1956), the OECD, and the G7. Japan is a leader in the automotive and electronics industries.
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Queensland (QLD) is an Australian state covering the continent’s northeast, with a coastline stretching nearly 7,000km. Its offshore Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, hosts thousands of marine species. The city of Cairns is a gateway to the reef and tropical Daintree Rainforest. The capital, Brisbane, is flanked by the surfing beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.