Health officials in China say a coronavirus has killed fifteen more people in the province of Hubei, where the outbreak first began.
There are currently 1,287 confirmed cases in China, forty-one of whom have died.
Pharmacies in Wuhan, Hubei’s largest city of some 11 million residents, have begun to run out of supplies as hospitals have been filled with nervous members of the public.
The heightened crisis comes as China begins celebrations of the Lunar New Year, one of the most important dates in its calendar.
Many events have been cancelled and a new 1,000-bed hospital is being built in Wuhan to be ready within six days, according to Chinese media reports.
The virus has now spread to Europe, with three cases confirmed in France, BBC reports the French health minister as saying on Friday night.
Infections have also been reported in the US, Thailand, Japan and South Korea.
Symptoms of the respiratory disease include, fever, dry cough and shortness of breath.