Professor John Watson of the HPA said last week, "Our assessment is that the risk associated with novel coronavirus to the general UK population remains extremely low and the risk to travellers to the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding countries remains very low".
"People who develop severe respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, within ten days of returning from these countries should seek medical advice and mention which countries they have visited", he added.
Coronaviruses are part of a family of RNA-containing viruses known to cause severe respiratory illnesses.
The Health Protection Agency said coronaviruses are causes of the common cold but can also include more severe illness, such as the virus responsible for Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
This new strain of coronavirus, known as novel coronavirus, was first identified in September 2012 in a patient who died from a severe respiratory infection in June 2012.
The virus has so far only been identified in a small number of cases of acute, serious respiratory illness who presented with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.
The World Health Organisation stressed it is not known how people become infected with this virus. However, it suggests avoiding close contact with anyone who shows symptoms of illness - coughing and sneezing - and maintaining good hand hygiene.
Experts say risk to general population is 'very low'
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust say it is treating a patient for 'novel coronavirus' after they contracted the potentially deadly disease from a family member.
However, health experts say that the risk of the rare coronavirus to the general population "remains very low".
Professor John Watson, head of respiratory diseases at the HPA, said:
This case is a family member who was in close personal contact with the earlier case and who may have been at greater risk of acquiring an infection because of their underlying health condition.
To date, evidence of person-to-person transmission has been limited. Although this case provides strong evidence for person-to-person transmission, the risk of infection in most circumstances is still considered to be very low."
– Professor John Watson
The patient was initially given care in a single room on a ward, where infection controls were put in place.
Their condition deteriorated on Sunday and they were moved to an isolation room in critical care, where they are now described as "stable".
Person treated for potential 'deadly' virus in Birmingham
A relative of a patient who recently contracted a potentially deadly virus has also become infected with the disease and is being treated at a hospital in Birmingham, health experts have said.
On Monday, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said one person who had recently travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan was being treated in an intensive care unit at a Manchester hospital after becoming infected with a new type of coronavirus.
Now officials have confirmed that a relative of the patient has become infected and is being treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.