Play media A new coronavirus, designated 2019-nCoV, was identified in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, after people developed pneumonia without a clear cause and for which existing vaccines or treatments were not effective. The virus has shown evidence of human-to-human transmission and its transmission rate (rate of infection) appeared to escalate in mid-January 2020, with several countries other than China reporting cases. The incubation period (time from exposure to developing symptoms) of the virus is between 2 and 14 days and it remains contagious during this time. Symptoms include fever, coughing and breathing difficulties and it can be fatal. Confirmed cases have been reported by several countries across Asia, Oceania, Europe, and North America. The first confirmed death from the coronavirus infection occurred on 9 January. As of January 27, 2020, approximately 4,600 cases and 106 deaths have been confirmed, all in China. Wuhan was placed under quarantine on January 23, in which all public transport in and out has been suspended. Thereafter, transportation in at least 15 other cities in Hubei province have also been halted in a similar fashion. Many New Year events were closed over fear of transmission, including the Forbidden City in Beijing, traditional temple fairs, and other celebratory gatherings. Hong Kong also raised their infectious disease response level to the highest level and declared an emergency, closed its schools until mid-February and cancelled its New Year celebrations. A number of countries have put out travel advisories warning against travel to Wuhan and/or Hubei province. Travelers who have visited Mainland China have been requested to monitor their health for at least two weeks and contact their healthcare provider to report any symptoms of the virus. Anyone who suspects themselves to carry the virus are advised to wear a protective mask and seek medical advice by calling a doctor rather than directly visiting the clinic in person. The travel sector has been providing refunds and no-fee cancellation for reservations in China or by people from China. Airports and train stations have implemented temperature checks, health declarations and information signage in an attempt to identify carriers of the virus. Chinese scientists were able to isolate a strain of the new coronavirus quickly, with the genetic sequence being made available for laboratories across the world to independently develop PCR tests that can confirm infection in a person. Of the first 41 people confirmed by real-time RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing to have been infected, two-thirds were found to have a link with the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which also sold live animals. The seventh member of the coronavirus family to infect humans, 2019-nCoV's genome sequence has been reported to be 75- to 80-percent identical to SARS-CoV, and more than 85-percent similar to several bat coronaviruses. Whether this virus is of the same severity or lethality as SARS is unclear.