COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate.
Health professionals are working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have coronavirus.
There are some countries and areas where there's a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness.
The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
Most people can continue to go to work, school and other public places.
You only need to stay away from public places (self-isolate) if advised to by the 111 online coronavirus service or a medical professional.
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
always wash your hands when you get home or into work
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
Use this service if:
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.
If there's a chance you could have coronavirus, you may be asked to stay away from other people (self-isolate).
This means you should:
You may need to do this for up to 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection.
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.
Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.
Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.
You'll need to stay in isolation away from other people until you've recovered.