Is there a vaccine for coronavirus? – The Sun
30th January 2020
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CHINESE authorities are desperately trying find a vaccine to stop the spread of coronavirus after the death toll rose to 169 and the virus spread to every region in China and 16 other countries.

The British Department of Health confirmed that 130 people have been tested for coronavirus in Britain and London is the European city most at risk. Here's all you need to know about the development of a vaccine.

Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?

The short answer is no – there is no cure for the virus at the moment.

But scientists are racing to find a jab to stop the spread and treat the sick

Scientists in Hong Kong believe they have developed a vaccine to protect people against the virus.

And head of research at Inovio, Dr Kate Broderick, told the BBC that her team of scientists in San Diego, US, managed to "fully design DNA medicine" against the coronavirus in an unprecedented three hours.

What have scientists said about when a vaccine will be available?

There is good and bad news. Now that the vaccine has been created, it is due to go through testing, which could take months.

Animal testing is due to begin as early as next week, which would then lead to human trials if successful.

Researchers, like Dr Broderick, and Yuen Kwok-yung, from the University of Hong Kong, predict that the fully formed and licenced vaccine will be available from early summer but it will still take "at least one year even if expedited.”

The news comes as the global research community steps up its efforts to halt the fatal epidemic.

Teams around the world are working on their own vaccines, a process that typically takes at least a decade.

Researchers in Australia revealed they had successfully synthesised the virus in the laboratory, using a sample from an infected patient.

The sequencing and publication by Chinese scientists of the viral genome in only a few days, compared to the five months it took during the 2002 Sars outbreak, is considered to be a game-changer.

How is coronavirus diagnosed?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there was an "increased likelihood" of cases in the UK, but that "we are well prepared" to deal with them.

He also said: "The UK is one of the first countries to have developed a world-leading test for the new coronavirus."

And Brits being airlifted out of China will now be quarantined for two weeks even if they are not showing any symptoms.

It has similar symptoms to the common cold, making it tricky to identify early.

According to CDC, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms include:

  • runny nose
  • headache
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • fever
  • a general feeling of being unwell

Doctors may order laboratory tests on respiratory specimens and serum, part of your blood, to detect human coronaviruses.

The testing is more likely if you are suspected of having Mers (Middle East respiratory syndrome).

How are people treated if they're infected by coronavirus?

Patients in hospital are quarantined and treated for their symptoms to try and help their bodies fight off the virus and prevent it spreading.

In cases exhibiting pneumonia, around 25 per cent, patients are given oxygen and sometimes a ventilator.

If their lungs become too inflamed then doctors work to relieve the pressure on other organs.

In less severe cases patients are given a drip for dehydration or ibuprofen for pain relief while the body fights the infection.

These treatments are reportedly effective for the most part.

There are currently unverified theories that HIV medication could work too as it allegedly did with the 2003 Sars virus, but it is only suggested for last-ditch "compassionate use" for extreme cases of coronavirus.

Other than treatment, detection, sanitation and quarantine measures are being used to restrict the spread of the virus.

The UK's expected measures do not appear to include a medical screening of passengers at airports for signs of the virus, as the UK did in 2014 following the Ebola outbreak.

But aircraft from Wuhan, where the virus originates, are landing in an isolated area of Heathrow Terminal 4 to limit the potential spread of the infection.

What we know about coronavirus so far…

  • Death toll hits 169 while cases soar beyond 7,000 – surpassing Sars infections in China
  • Foreign Office warned against "all but essential travel" to the country because of the virus outbreak
  • British Airways suspended all flights to and from mainland China where up to 200 Brits are stranded
  • Brits due to be evacuated from Wuhan will be quarantined for up to 14 days – possibly at a military base
  • As of this afternoon, 130 people in UK have been tested for coronavirus – all were negative
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock to chair Cobra meeting at 4.30pm today
  • WHO to meet tomorrow to decide whether it will declare outbreak global emergency
  • First human-to-human transmissions in people who haven't been to China reported in Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam

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