The 2019–20 novel coronavirus outbreak, also known as the Wuhan coronavirus, the China pneumonia outbreak or the Wuhan pneumonia was initially identified during mid-December 2019 in the city of Wuhan in central China, as an emerging cluster of people with pneumonia of unknown cause, linked primarily to stallholders who worked at the Huanan Seafood Market, which also sold live animals.
The Wuhan virus causes a type of pneumonia and belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as SARS. Symptoms include fever and difficulty in breathing, which are similar to many other respiratory diseases and pose complications for screening efforts.
SARS originated in southern China in 2002 and spread to 26 countries across the world over the following months, infecting more than 8,000 people before it was brought under control, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO, which is due to hold an emergency meeting on the outbreak on Wednesday, has said an animal source appeared most likely to be the primary origin of the Wuhan outbreak.