Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid 1960s and are named for the crown-like projections on the surface of the virus. They are a group of viruses that cause respiratory infections in humans and animals.
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is the recommended name for what was previously called novel coronavirus.
31 May 2013: Public Health England (PHE) continues to keep its information and advice on the novel coronavirus under review. Although there are new cases in Saudi Arabia and in France, there have been no new cases of novel coronavirus in the UK since February and therefore there is currently no change to PHE’s previous advice. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV): update [external link]
15 May 2013: WHO call this virus Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) [external link]
19 February 2013: The Health Protection agency reports on a patient who died of novel coronavirus on 17 February 2013. The patient was part of a family cluster in the West Midlands associated with recent travel to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Contacts of these cases have been traced and followed up. There have been no further cases to date. Read the Health Protection Report Read the novel coronavirus press release