Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which is caused by a coronavirus, killed 774 people in China in 2002, out of 8,098 people infected.
Authorities have said the new strain of coronavirus originated in a seafood market that “conducted illegal transactions of wild animals”.
The coronavirus has now spread to eight countries including Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and the United States (US).
In addition, officials in China have begun closing transportation links from and within Wuhan and other affected cities.
READ MORE: Coronavirus latest: Is it safe to fly? Airports take steps to stop spread of virus