The start to the new year was kicked off with an unpleasant surprise. A novel coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, is spreading very rapidly. So far, it has affected mainly people in the Hubei province of China. A few days ago the World Health Organization (WHO) declared this outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). That sounds alarming. The hygiene measures taken to control the outbreak are accordingly radical. What does this virus really mean?