Much is yet unknown regarding this new coronavirus, but from a healthcare standpoint, it's a rapidly spreading epidemic but much less of a lethal threat than the previous SARS (also a coronavirus) outbreak. SARS killed fewer people, but there were fewer reported cases, which means it killed a higher percentage of those infected, whereas this new virus has killed more people, but has infected far more so far, leading to a lower percentage for mortality. And because the symptoms can range from very mild to very severe, some cases may go unreported because the symptoms may be mistaken for something else or go unnoticed entirely.If you think it's getting blown way out of proportion, consider that Chinese official reports tend to be optimistic by a factor of 10. Having said that, it doesn't seem so far to be as bad as SARS, but with a 2 week incubation period, it's hard to say. At least the Chinese have been more forthcoming than with SARS, which went three months before official word got out of China.
There is no vaccine currently, but like any other viral illness, the main treatment is supportive, and the population most at risk is the elderly, young children, and the immunocompromised.
So on the grand scheme of things, this ain't the Spanish Flu of 1918, nor is it Ebola, or is it the Bubonic Plague. It's a serious outbreak, and it needs to be studied to know more about the virus itself, its routes of transmission, etc...but it is NOT killing millions of people, and it's lethality is pretty low. There is cause for concern, sure, but the media is making this out to be much worse than it is, and it's contributing to panic which is never helpful.
I've worked with patients who have had many of these viruses, and we were one of the designated treatment centers on the East Coast for the Ebola virus.