Coronavirus and COVID-19: All your questions answered

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A cluster of respiratory illness, originating in the Chinese province of Hubei in December 2019, has health officials on high alert around the world. In January, the causative agent of the disease was found to be a novel coronavirus, dubbed SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it causes was given a name: COVID-19 (for "coronavirus disease 2019"). It has proven to be particularly infectious and claimed about 3,000 lives in around three months. 
The spate of illness was first reported to the World Health Organization on New Year's Eve and in the following weeks was linked to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses, the same family responsible for the diseases SARS and MERS, as well as some cases of the common cold. A special WHO committee declared a public health emergency on Jan. 30 and later raised its global risk assessment for the coronavirus to "very high."

    The situation continues to evolve as more information becomes available. We've collated everything we know about the novel virus, what's next for researchers and some of the steps you can take to reduce your risk.

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