Coronavirus vaccine possible if China shares DNA sequence

Scientists from different institutes across the world have expressed the hope of developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus disease in hours, once they have the necessary data about the biological agent

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Virologists say that a vaccine for the novel coronavirus disease can be developed in three hours if China provides a DNA sequence of the virus. Scientists at the laboratory of San Diego’s Inovio Pharmaceuticals, the US, say they are using relatively new DNA technology to develop a potential vaccine. And Doherty Institute, Melbourne, Australia, has shared its findings with the WHO after they developed a prototype of the virus outside China when China was not ready to share the information with the world.

With the arrival of the coronavirus in many continents of the world, the presence of its first victim in India was confirmed yesterday. More than 7,000 people in China are either infected or suspected to be infected and are, therefore, under medical observation. The casualty has risen above 100. It has overtaken SARS in terms of the number of victims.

Many countries of the world, including India, are in the process of evacuating their citizens from China. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued advisories to hospitals that are treating the victims. The outbreak, which has now taken the form of an epidemic, institutions and scientists of the world have started working on developing a vaccine.

As of now, there is no cure or vaccine for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. China has finally released its genetic code.

There are plans to conduct human trials early summer to develop the advanced INO-4800 vaccine. The University of Queensland and a pharmaceutical company are working on it, too.

This is the 2019 Novel Corona Virus, referred to technically as 2019-NCOV. It affects the breathing system of human beings. It first surfaced in Wuhan, China. Thus, it acquired the name Wuhan Coronavirus.

Symptoms of novel coronavirus

  1. headache and discomfort
  2. running nose
  3. phlegm problem
  4. muscle ache

Potential complications

  1. high fever (100.4 ºF)
  2. wound leading to tissue decay
  3. breathing problem
  4. pneumonia

Coronavirus timeline

  • 31 December 2019: China informs WHO about the unknown disease
  • 1 January 2020: Sea animals found to be carriers of the disease
  • 9 January: WHO says it is a new type of coronavirus
  • 10 January: China provides the genetic code of the new virus
  • 11 January: Scientists begin work to develop vaccines[ confirmation of first death from the virus
  • 13 January: Virus spreads outside China; the first case outside China reported from Thailand
  • 28 January: Australian scientists develop a sample, pledge to share it with the WHO
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