If coronavirus a new one, then no one is immune to it - virologist

There are more than 14,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

This undated handout picture courtesy of the British Health Protection Agency shows the coronavirus seen under an electron microscope. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - No one is immune to the coronavirus outbreak which has claimed the lives of over 300 people.

"The problem with the new virus, even if it isn't such a virulent one, if that is true, it would then be a virgin soil epidemic. Virgin soil means that nobody has had this before because it's a new agent. Nobody would be immune and anybody would be susceptible to it."

That's medical virologist, Wolgang Preiser.

Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a global health emergency last week, it said that no new countries had reported cases of the acute respiratory disease since Sunday.

One person outside mainland China, a man in the Philippines, has died.

There are more than 14,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

South Africa's so far not picked up any infections but in neighbouring Botswana there are five suspected cases.

Nearly 60 million people remain under lockdown in Chinese cities.

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