A former patient has claimed the women treated at a Royal Free Hospital unit where two people have been infected with the coronavirus 'felt like ET' - adding that she was unaware of the group's preparedness.
The UK Government has confirmed that a 57-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man have contracted the virus, which is linked to the deadly SARS virus. The news followed fears of a link between bird flu and the virus, which also spreads to humans in pigs.
Coronavirus first appeared in 2012, and experts fear it could mutate and cause a global pandemic.
Dr Eileen Murphy has said that she saw a 'lots of coughing and sneezing' among the group
The Royal Free Hospital was home to a 'Level 4' isolation centre during the 2009 swine flu outbreak (pictured)
The facility, at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London, was home to a 'Level 4' isolation centre during the 2009 swine flu outbreak.
However, former patient Dr Eileen Murphy told Sky News that she had no idea about the group's preparation.
She said: 'We were in a room the same size as the patient who died, where I say died but was kept very warm and well-fed. I am not sure if any patients died there during that outbreak but they did at the home. I think it was actually quite a calm environment because we weren't worried and no one was dying.
'I think that was what people were saying about the people there. They were very peaceful people.'
She added: 'I do not know if [they knew] or not, but I do know I did.
'People were asked about when they were coming in. There was lots of coughing and sneezing and then everybody got on with their business and waited until they got there.'
Dr Eileen Murphy said she knew about the outbreak before she came to the Royal Free Hospital, where she treated her patient for a type of chest infection
The condition of the woman and the man most seriously affected in the case is unknown, but the Royal Free said they had a 'level of protection' which 'did not allow for people to be treated in isolation'.
The symptoms of coronavirus include a fever and a cough which will clear up by itself within a few days.
Level 4s of isolation means that staff can help 'with things such as infection control measures and manage health conditions to the best of our ability'.
However, officials stated there was no risk to the public because the virus cannot be transmitted through the air like flu, and did not involve respiratory symptoms.
'Level 4 of isolation' means that staff can help 'with things such as infection control measures and manage health conditions to the best of our ability'
The infection rate of humans is low, it said, and cases were kept to within a relatively small number.
A spokesman for the Royal Free Hospital added: 'The Royal Free's Level 4 isolation centre is used in a similar way to other isolation centres.'
The outbreak is not the first time the virus has been found in humans.
In October, researchers said they had found an unusually high number of human cases in North Korea and reported taking blood samples from infected individuals.