Coronavirus 2019-nCoV originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China, and since the first reported cases in December last year, there have been more than 44,000 confirmed cases in mainland China and more than 20 countries have been affected. The virus has also proven deadly, claiming the lives of 242 in Hubei on Wednesday alone.
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As the number of cases rises around the world, many are looking to methods of prevention to avoid catching the potentially deadly virus.
Taking to ITV’s This Morning this week, scientist and vaccine expert Kate Broderick revealed a vaccine has been developed and should be ready for clinical trials in the coming months.
Kate and her team were able to develop a vaccine so quickly after getting the genetic code for the virus.
She said; “I have to thank the Chinese authorities because without that we really couldn’t have done anything.
“So because we use a DNA medicine vaccine we need the genetic code to be able to design the vaccine.
“So as soon as we received that code, we were able to immediately start designing the vaccine, and then in three hours we had a design ready and raring to go.”
In the past, vaccine development has taken much longer.
Kate explained: “So the vaccine you and I are familiar with, what we would call traditional vaccines, they’re based on a protein which is different from the types of vaccines we develop…and they take in general two to three years to develop.
“So you can imagine in an outbreak setting like what we’re seeing in China, two or three years isn’t going to help.
“So that’s where this new technology comes in, where we can really rapidly make a vaccine.”
So when can people expect to get the vaccine?
Kate revealed it would be some months before the vaccine will be ready for clinical trials.
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She said: “It’s not overnight – it’s important it’s not overnight, because you need to perform the proper checks and balances to ensure it’s safe and it’s effective.
“So we’re doing it as fast as we can, but it’s certainly not going to be tomorrow.
“We’re hoping June would be the first time we get it into human subjects for what we call clinical testing.”
How to prevent coronavirus
Until a vaccine is ready, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus, says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
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