Who is most at risk of catching the novel coronavirus?
The coronavirus family of viruses is zoonotic meaning it can be transmitted between animals and humans.
In 2002, the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus outbreak was traced back to infected civet cats in Asia.
Similarly, the 2012 outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus was attributed to infected camels.
But the novel coronavirus epidemic was triggered by a new strain of the pathogen, meaning it will not behave in the same way as the other two epidemics.
Regardless, medical experts have intensely studied hundreds of patients in China to determine who is most at risk of infection.