Ireland may be on red alert for cases of the coronavirus - but are we well prepared?
The challenge for our health service if a case hits is to detect the patient early, isolate them and crucially stop the spread of the infection, which kills around two in every 100 people who contract it.
The problem is that this may not be a tidy exercise and is likely to be very demanding.
We are told that action plans are in place, overseen by an expert advisory group made up of people such as public health doctors and specialists in viruses and this, in turn, links into the National Public Health Emergency Team.
Isolation rooms have been identified in each hospital, suspect cases which come to light are all being tested in a laboratory and GPs and other front-line staff are being sent protective gear, including face masks and goggles.
Hospitals and GP surgeries have been given instructions on how to manage a suspected case.
The problem with this virus is that scientists are still learning how it operates.
It is proving wayward in its behaviour and spread, which could leave the system here under strain if it arrives.
When it first emerged it was concentrated in the city of Wuhan in China.
The alert here was to be on the look-out for anyone with symptoms such as high temperature, cough or breathing difficulties within 14 days of returning from the Chinese city.
Since then, this risk has expanded to anyone with symptoms who has been anywhere on mainland China in that time.
And people who have never been to China have been diagnosed with the virus.
In the UK, health authorities are trying to track back the movements of a businessman dubbed a "super-spreader" of the virus.
He picked it up at a conference in Singapore and during a ski holiday in France passed it on to five others.
In the case of anyone diagnosed with the virus here, a major contact-tracing exercise would take place to measure the exposure of other people the infected person would have encountered.
If they were on a plane, in a pub or in a workplace, all of the people who were at potential exposure would have to have their risk assessed.
This could lead to large numbers of people being asked to self-isolate, at huge inconvenience, for up to 14 days, which requires co-operation and surveillance.
Health officials here are taking their lead from the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in how to manage the risk. Five cases of the virus have been diagnosed in England in the past week, taking the total to eight. All are being kept in isolation in hospitals in London or Newcastle.
Earlier this week, UK police were given the power to seize people in danger of spreading coronavirus and force them into isolation in handcuffs.
A new law was hurriedly brought into force after a patient staying at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral in Merseyside reportedly tried to leave before completing the 14-day stay after his return from China.
It has been declared a "serious and imminent" threat to the British public.
The language around the threat here is more restrained but that could change if a case is detected.
The risk is expected to continue for some time and so far the fatalities are low.
The vast majority will have only mild, cold-like symptoms.
Scientists are working on a vaccine but this may take a year or longer to come to fruition.