This morning the World Health Organisation announced a new name for the illness killing hundreds across the world.

The coronavirus will now be called COVID-19 by medical professionals. The change was made to establish one unifying name for the illness. 

'CO' will stand for Corona, 'VI' for virus, and 'D' for disease. '19' is for the year the virus immerged. 

The outbreak was first reported on December 31, 2019 in Wuhan, China and has since killed over one thousand people in China alone.

"Time is of the essence," WHO Director-General Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says. "We cannot sleep."

"Increasingly what we are seeing is (a concern in) the community at large...and in there is a move now to protect all of the cases, even the milder cases," a World Health Organisation representative says. "The virus has its own characteristics in transmission."

The WHO notes that what is being learned in China will be crucial to the health of the worldwide community if the virus were to spread even more.