"Common cold coronaviruses, you don't actually have immunity that lasts for very long, and so we don't know the answer with this specific coronavirus. If you recover, are you immune, and if you are immune, how long does that last? And that's actually going to be one of the challenges with designing a vaccine is how do you actually cause the immunity to last long enough to protect you," Gounder said.
How to protect yourself: In general, the public should do "what you do every cold and flu season," said Dr. John Wiesman, the health secretary in Washington state -- where the first US case of Wuhan coronavirus was confirmed.
That includes washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
The World Health Organization recommends staying at least 3 feet (or 1 meter) away from anyone who may be infected.
If you're the one feeling sick, cover your entire mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. But don't use your hands. Use either your bent elbow or a tissue that you throw away immediately afterward.