the vast majority of coronavirus cases are believed to have mild effects on patients, but a small percentage are still deadly.
Health authorities have warned that elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk - but what are the specific conditions that should be on a higher alert?
According to Public Health England, COVID-19 poses the biggest threat to those who have weaker immune systems and long-term - or chronic - illnesses.
some of the chronic conditions said to heighten the risk among patients are:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- High blood pressure
ireland's health services have also released a list of conditions that weaken the immune system, and include:
- Patients undergoing treatments for cancer
- Patients undergoing treatments for autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS) and inflammatory bowel diseases
- Patients with HIV
- Anyone who has had organ or bone marrow transplants
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asthma sufferers are also thought to be at a greater risk of being worse affected by the virus, which causes an infection in the respiratory tract.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人jessica kirby, head of health advice at asthma uk, said this could therefore affect around 5.4 million people in the uk.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人she said: "respiratory viruses like this can trigger asthma symptoms and could lead to an asthma attack.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人"it is essential that you take your preventer, daily as prescribed. this helps cut the risk of an asthma attack being triggered by any virus, including coronavirus.
"keeping a reliever inhaler to hand is vital, so you can use it if you get asthma symptoms."
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人meanwhile, smokers have also been warned of their heightened risk from the infection due to a cigarette's effect on a person's immune system.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人"this reduces your natural protection against infections, like coronavirus," a press release from the irish health service said.
it added that this means smokers are at an increased risk of contracting acute respiratory infections, of it lengthening the time of the infection, and of suffering more severe consequences.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人"second-hand smoke has similar effects. children who are exposed to smoke are at increased risk of acute respiratory infections," it said.
public health england has a issued a number of measures that individuals can undertake to avoid catching the virus, including regular hand washing for 20 seconds, avoiding close contact with those who are unwell, and catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue.
In other coronavirus developments:
- Globally more than 169,000 are infected and over 6,500 have died
- As of 9am on Monday, 1,543 people had tested positive for coronavirus in the UK
- Figures from Sunday show 35 people in the UK have died since being diagnosed
- Virgin Atlantic asks staff to take eight weeks of unpaid leave due to coronavirus
- British granddad died 'after contracting virus from skier in restaurant'
- Italy records 368 more deaths from the coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, its biggest one day rise
- France is preparing an order that would put the country under partial lockdown to combat the epidemic
- US President Donald Trump tests negative for the coronavirus
- Britain will isolate older people "within weeks" and force into quarantine anyone diagnosed with coronavirus
Sky News will broadcast a special programme at 6pm, with experts answering your questions #AskSkyNews at 12.30pm.