Decoding the Wuhan coronavirus
The outbreak of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China was first reported on 31 December 2019. Just one month later, the World Health Organization has declared the virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern .
The Wuhan coronavirus, known also as 2019-nCoV, is a novel RNA virus that is highly contagious. It is a member of the same family of beta-coronaviruses that includes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) [2, 3].
The scientists who first described 2019-nCoV have released its genetic code . On 29 January 2020, researchers in Melbourne, Australia were reported to have isolated 2019-nCoV from the first person diagnosed with the infection in Australia, and they are now distributing the RNA virus to laboratories worldwide, in an effort to fast-track the development of a vaccine to halt its further spread .
The intermediate host of 2019-nCoV is unknown, but is thought to be either a bird or a mammal. This is based on the premise that 2019-nCoV is most closely related to SARS and related RNA viruses that circulate in bats, although bats can infect other animals that can potentially transmit the virus to humans . Wei et al.  contend that the vector may be a snake, but they have not provided unequivocal evidence of this.
To expedite the development of an effective vaccine will demand collaboration and coordination among scientists with access to state-of-the-art high-throughput platform technologies. Such technologies are based on the same fundamental principles of molecular biology that are in common use in laboratories worldwide, using readily-available reagents and enzymes.
As long as we do not have a cure for it, we need to rely on maintaing distance from each other, wearing masks and hand washing as often as possible! Why? Know here!
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1. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. “Statement on the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)”. 30 January 2020. https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/30-01-2020-statement-on-the-second-meeting-of-the-international-health-regulations-(2005)-emergency-committee-regarding-the-outbreak-of-novel-coronavirus-(
2. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE “Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus”. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Taxonomy/Browser/wwwtax.cgi?id=2697049
3. NATURE BRIEFING 24 Jan 2020 https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00180-8?utm_source=Nature+Briefing&utm_campaign=b5a8683d06-briefing-dy-20200124&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c9dfd39373-b5a8683d06-42192127
4. WEI, J, WANG, W, ZHAO, X, et al. “Homologous recombination within the spike glycoprotein of the newly identified coronavirus may boost cross-species transmission from snake to human”. J Med Virol 22 January 2020. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jmv.25682
5. THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. “Melbourne scientists first to grow and share novel coronavirus”. https://about.unimelb.edu.au/newsroom/news/2020/january/melbourne-scientists-first-to-grow-and-share-novel-coronavirus