Coronaviruses have caused three outbreaks in humans in the past 20 years: they were responsible for SARS in 2002, MERS in 2012, and the ongoing outbreak spreading rapidly through China and around the world. While finding ways to prevent and treat this new virus is the most pressing priority, in the long term, scientists have their eye on ways to prevent and treat any coronavirus — so that they’re prepared for the next one to come along.
“This is not a one-off,” says Timothy Sheahan, a coronavirus expert and assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. “This is something that will continue to happen in the future.”
The new coronavirus is a dangerous public health problem for China and the rest of the world. But having another iteration of these viruses jump to humans does give scientists another important piece of data as they work to figure out treatments for this family of viruses. Coronaviruses circulate regularly in wild and domestic animals, but there’s a lot unknown about the properties that make them able to infect people. “The best information we have is to see which viruses end up being human…
This News From Feed news.google title “Universal coronavirus treatments could help treat this outbreak — and the next one – The Verge”
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