A team of scientists in Australia have successfully recreated the Coronavirus in their lab. This is the first time researchers have been able to create the virus created outside China.
Chinese scientists had recreated the virus earlier but they only shared the genome sequence of the virus with the global scientific community. The Australian scientists behind the discovery will be sharing the research with WHO (World Health Organisation) in hopes of creating a treatment plan for the disease and also to aid in early diagnostics.
So far the deadly virus has taken the lives of 132 people in China with more than 6,000 people caught by the infection. Globally the virus have been confirmed in at least 47 cases across 16 countries excluding China.
The researchers from the specialist lab at Melbourne were able to create a copy of the virus from an infected patient sample sent to them last Friday. “We’ve planned for an incident like this for many, many years and that’s really why we were able to get an answer so quickly,” said Dr Mike Catton of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
The copied virus can serve as a “control material” for conducting various tests on the viral body. It will also be of use in assessing the effectiveness of trial vaccines. The doctors believe the findings will be a “game-changer” for diagnosis. This gives us the possibility of creating an early-diagnostics test that lets us detect the virus even before the patient starts giving off symptoms.
This is very crucial as Chinese authorities have revealed that the virus can spread from person to person even before the symptoms start to occur. WHO is yet to confirm whether the virus has the capability to spread during its incubation period. The current incubation period for the virus is estimated to be around 10 days by the WHO.
Meanwhile, China has taken extensive lockdown of the Wuhan region, where the outbreak started, to contain the further spread of the virus.