Originating in Wuhan of China in December last year, there have been by far almost 10,000 cases of coronavirus reported in at least 17 countries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the virus as a global health emergency last Friday.
But what are the symptoms? What does the virus do to one's body? Can someone fully recover from coronavirus?
The Business Standard searched the internet and tried to find out answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the virus.
What are the symptoms?
While fighting the new virus has been a battle against the unknown for doctors across the globe, Lancet Medical Journal, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal already published a detailed analysis of the first 99 patients treated in the Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan.
All the 99 patients taken to the hospital had pneumonia - their lungs were inflamed and the tiny sacs where oxygen moves from the air to the blood were filling with water.
The patients have shown multiple other symptoms as well.
Among the 99 patients, 82 had a fever, 81 had a cough, 31 had shortness of breath, 11 had muscle ache, nine had confusion, 11 had a headache and five had a sore throat.
What is the incubation period for the virus?
The WHO says the incubation period, which is the time before symptoms appear, ranges from two to 10 days.
These estimates will be narrowed down as more data become available.
Do people who have contracted coronavirus return to full health?
Yes. Many of those who contract coronavirus will experience only mild symptoms. These include fever, coughing and respiratory problems.
Most people are expected to make a full recovery.
Who are the first two dead patients?
The first two patients to die due to coronavirus were seemingly healthy although they were long-term smokers and that would have already weakened their lungs.
The first patient that died was a 61-year-old man. He had severe pneumonia when he arrived at the hospital. He died 11 days after he was admitted.
The patient was in acute respiratory distress, which means his lungs were unable to provide enough oxygen to his organs to keep his body alive.
He was put on a ventilator. But his lungs failed and heart stopped beating, leading to death.
The second patient was a 69-year-old man. He also had acute respiratory distress syndrome.
He was attached to an artificial lung or ECMO (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation) machine. But this was not enough to save his life.
The patient died of severe pneumonia and septic shock when his blood pressure collapsed.
How many patients died?
As of January 25, 57 patients were still in hospital, 31 had been discharged and 11 died among the 99 patients.
While it does not mean that the death rate of the disease is around 10 percent, it can still be considered a close assumption as of now.
Who are the patients?
Live animals sold at the Huanan seafood market were initially thought to be the source of the infection, which is called 2019-nCoV.
Among the 99 patients who were admitted to the Jinyintan Hospital, 49 had a direct connection to the market. 47 worked there either as managers or manning the stalls while two were shoppers who had only popped in the market and ended up getting infected with the virus.
Is it true that middle-aged men get affected the most?
Most of the 99 patients treated in the Jinyintan Hospital were middle-aged, with an average age of 56. Among them, 67 were men.
However, more recent figures published by The China Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said 1.2 men were infected for every one women.
There are two possible explanations for the difference, according to the BBC.
Men could be more likely to become severely ill and need hospital treatment. Men, for social or cultural reasons, may have been more likely to be exposed to the virus at the beginning of the outbreak.
"The reduced susceptibility of females to viral infections could be attributed to the protection from X chromosome and sex hormones, which play an important role in immunity," Dr Li Zhang of The China Centres for Disease Control and Prevention told the BBC.
Does a weaker immune system make someone more vulnerable to coronavirus?
Yes, most of the 99 patients admitted had other diseases that may have made them more vulnerable to the virus as a "result of the weaker immune functions."
Forty of the patients had a weak heart or damaged blood vessels due to conditions including heart disease, heart failure and stroke. A further 12 patients had diabetes.
Can the coronavirus be transferred through items bought from Wuhan and sent to other countries via mail services?
While there is no evidence saying that this is a risk, some diseases - including the coronavirus that causes Sars - can spread through surfaces contaminated by people coughing or sneezing on them.
It has not been shown that this new coronavirus can do it. Even if it could, there would still be questions about whether international shipping would be a major problem.
Is it possible to vaccinate in order to prevent this respiratory illness?
At the moment, there is no vaccine that can protect people against this type of coronavirus, but researchers are looking to develop one.