Australian scientists first to recreate novel coronavirus outside China

January 30, 2020

Researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia, have become the first to successfully cultivate the Wuhan coronavirus (Wuhan CoV) outside of China, which will provide crucial information to help scientists diagnose and treat the virus. Of this latest breakthrough, experts have said the copy “will be a game changer” for early-diagnosis tests locally and abroad, and could hopefully detect the virus in people who have not displayed symptoms.

Meanwhile, Doherty Institute’s Deputy Director Dr. Mike Catton said, “An antibody test will enable us to retrospectively test suspected patients so we can gather a more accurate picture of how widespread the virus is, and its true mortality rate.”

“It will also assist greatly in the assessment of effectiveness of trial vaccines,” he added.

The number of cases in China is still increasing, despite the lockdown initiated in various cities – the outbreak has killed over a hundred people and infected close to 6,000in China.Most recently, amongst15 other nations with confirmed cases, Australia reported a fifth case in a university student in New South Wales.

Like the flu, this virus is able to spread during its incubation period; which can range from two to 10 days, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). But WHO is unclear whether the virus is contagious before symptoms appear.


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