Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause disease in animals. Seven, including the new virus, have made the jump to humans, but most just cause cold-like symptoms.
The source of the coronavirus is believed to be a "wet market" in Wuhanwhich sold both dead and live animals including fish and birds, and was first reported in December 2019.
Such markets pose a heightened risk of viruses jumping from animals to humans because hygiene standards are difficult to maintain if live animals are being kept and butchered on site. Typically, they are also densely packed.
2nd March 2020 - Action plan presented by the Prime Minister