But what exactly is a coronavirus-this one in particular-and how anxious should you be about it?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the term coronavirus is used to define a group of viruses that cause illnesses that can range from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS.
In 2016, too, a new strain of coronavirus was identified in China that killed 25,000 piglets, though it did not infect humans.
When was the new virus discovered? .
The patient, confirmed by the CDC to be a USA resident, arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on January 15 without signs of any symptoms but sought medical help after he became ill on January 19, CNN reported. In severe cases pneumonia and kidney failure can occur, which can be fatal.
Health care workers are also trying to identify people who may have had contact with the infected traveler, and are notifying some of the passengers on his return flight who might have been exposed. Similar cases among Chinese travelers have also been identified in South Korea, Japan and Thailand.
As with any illness, the CDC recommends standard practices to prevent the virus from spreading, which includes regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
A prominent expert from China's National Health Commission confirmed this week that the virus can be passed between people. However, new evidence shows that the coronavirus can be spread from one human to another human. The WHO explains that they were first informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China on December 31.
People in Guangdong who contracted the virus were infected directly by family members who came from Wuhan, he further explained.
"I feel fearful, because there's no cure for the virus", said Fu Ning, a 36-year-old woman in Beijing. A committee of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is meeting on Wednesday "to ascertain whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of worldwide concern and what recommendations should be made to manage it".
What measurements are now in place to curb the spread?
Authorities in Wuhan, China, imposed quarantine-like restrictions on the city of 11 million Tuesday, as they raced to stop the spread of a new coronavirus that's popping up in countries around the world.
Scientists with the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London warned in a paper published on Friday that the number of cases in Wuhan was likely to be closer to 1,700, much higher than the official figure. Gov. Jay Inslee along with federal, state and local health officials stressed that there is a low risk to the public from the bug, which is known as the "2019 novel coronavirus".
On Monday, Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville changed its electronic prompts so that any patients coming in to its hospital, emergency room or clinics with a fever or respiratory symptoms will be asked whether they have been to China recently or have had contact with anyone who has recently traveled to China.
Visit a medical professional if you are concerned about any symptoms, especially after travelling.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mentioned the sickened person had died.