Australian scientists have successfully replicated the deadly new coronavirus in a laboratory. The authorities claimed that this constitutes a great breakthrough and moving forward this may allow the development of a vaccine that can be used for treatment. The lab-grown samples will also help in identifying people who have the disease.
Deputy Director of Doherty Institute in Melbourne, Dr Mike Catton told media that the samples will be used to generate antibodies that would help researchers and medical professionals to test suspected patients even if they don't outwardly show the symptoms. The antibodies will also help scientists determine the true mortality rate of the virus.
The researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity reportedly claimed that they were able to grow the virus from a sample of the virus they had received last Friday. Mike Catton also added that they had planned for this incident for many years and that their prior planning was the only reason they were able to reproduce the virus so quickly.
The deadly coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in China with 25 new fatalities reported from central Hubei province taking the death toll to 132 and the confirmed infection cases to nearly 6,000, as health experts warned that the epidemic may reach its climax in the next 10 days resulting in large-scale casualties.
The Chinese health authorities announced on Wednesday that 5,974 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported in 31 provincial-level regions by the end of Tuesday. A total of 132 people have died from the disease, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The coronavirus can be passed between humans through close contact, Chinese medical experts say. The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak may reach its peak in one week or around 10 days, Chinese respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan said. "It is very difficult to definitely estimate when the outbreak reaches its peak. But I think in one week or about 10 days, it will reach the climax and then there will be large-scale increases," Zhong told a state-run news agency.