First identified in the Guangdong province in southern China, according to the WHO, it causes respiratory problems but can also cause diarrhea, fatigue, shortness of breath, respiratory distress and kidney failure. Depending on the patient's age, the death rate with SARS ranged from 0-50% of the cases, with older people being the most vulnerable.
The Wuhan coronavirus is currently thought to be milder than SARS and MERS and takes longer to develop symptoms. Patients to date have typically experienced a mild cough for a week followed by shortness of breath, causing them to visit the hospital, explains Peter Hobby, professor of emerging infectious diseases and global health at the University of Oxford. So far, around 15% to 20% of cases have become severe, requiring, for example, ventilation in the hospital.