About a month ago, a new coronavirus showed up in Wuhan, China, probably from contact with an infected animal in a local market. Since then, it’s sickened an estimated 4500 people and caused about 106 deaths. It’s been confirmed in five US states.
These numbers will increase.
Not much is known about the virus.
How can I get the coronavirus?
Initially, the virus came from an infected animal, but it seems to have the ability to travel from one human to another now (which makes it much more dangerous). We assume the infection is spread from contact with body fluids, or through inhalation of an infected person’s cough or sneeze–but these preliminary conclusions are based on assumptions about past viruses.
Geek out on more about the coronavirus here.
And, consider this: There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus, and vaccines come from research that has, in the past, included gain-of-function work. Gain-of-function is controversial: could a genetically engineered virus escape a lab and accidentally get introduced into the world? Laura and Tim debate GOF work here.