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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has upgraded the global risk from the coronavirus outbreak from 'moderate' to 'high'.
In China, the WHO has placed the risk assessment at 'very high'. According to the BBC, the death toll has today risen to 106, with the number of confirmed cases almost doubling in a day from 2,798 yesterday (27 January) to more than 4,500 today.
No deaths have so far been confirmed outside of China, with cases confirmed in 15 countries worldwide.
UK scientists at Imperial College London have said they estimate around 100,000 people around the world could be infected with the new coronavirus.
Professor Neil Ferguson, a public health expert at the university, told The Guardian: "Sooner or later we will get a case [in the UK].
"There are very large numbers of Chinese tourists across Europe right now. Unless the Chinese manage to control this, and I'm sceptical about whether that is possible, we will get cases here."
Meanwhile, the government are being asked to reassure the public that the UK is ready to deal with the imminent arrival of cases in the country.
Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, said: "The NHS is currently under immense strain this winter with staff already working flat out and hospitals overcrowded. We need urgent reassurance from ministers that they have a plan to ensure we have capacity in place to deal with coronavirus, should we need to."
However, experts are saying that we shouldn't panic just yet, with most people not at risk of dying from the disease.
As reported by The Daily Mail, Professor Mark Harris, from the University of Leeds, said: "It's true that the numbers... look scary.
"One positive spin is that if we are only aware of five percent of the total cases, the implication is that 95 percent of cases have only resulted in either mild symptoms, such that the infected people did not consider it serious enough to seek medical help, or indeed the virus may be causing an inapparent infection.
"This would significantly reduce the apparent [death] rates."
Tests confirmed that outbreak did start at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, as suspected.
Experts from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said the virus was first caught by humans from animals at the food market, where everything from snakes, rats, beavers, wolf cubs and even 'tree bears' were reportedly on sale.