25 Jan 2020

Coronavirus latest: virologist Chris Smith

From Saturday Morning, 9:06 am on 25 January 2020

How serious is the outbreak of coronavirus? How far and fast is it likely to spread?

Cases of the coronavirus "2019-nCoV" have now been confirmed in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and the US.

In China, where the outbreak began, at least 25 people have died and more than 500 have contracted the virus.

There are fears that we could be facing a global pandemic to rival the SARS outbreak of 2002 and 2003 which killed 788 people.

Some international airports are now screening passengers arriving from China and travel bans are in place in 5 Chinese cities.

Dr Chris Smith, consultant virologist at Cambridge University and one of BBC Radio 5 Live's Naked Scientists, joined Kim for an update.

Workers producing face masks at a factory in Handan in China's northern Hebei province, on 22 January 2020.

Photo: AFP