Scientists in Australia are the first outside China to grow a copy of the new coronavirus that has killed over 100 people, which they hope will boost efforts to tackle it.
The team at The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity grew the virus in cell culture after taking a sample from a patient who attended the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory on Friday.
Australia is among the countries where the virus has been confirmed in patients. It is thought to have originated from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, late last year.
According to an online dashboard run by Johns Hopkins University, a total of 132 people have died—all in mainland China and mainly in Hubei—and 6,057 cases have been confirmed worldwide.
Julian Druce of the The Royal Melbourne Hospital and head of the Virus Identification Laboratory at the Doherty Institute said in a statement: “Chinese officials released the genome sequence of this novel coronavirus, which is helpful for diagnosis, however, having the real virus means we now have the ability to actually validate and verify all test methods, and compare their sensitivities and…
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