UN ponders fast-track drugs, vaccines for new virus

Tests, vaccine for new coronavirus under development by more than 300 scientists. Virus has killed more than 1,000 people since it was identified late last year.

By

World News

February 11, 2020 - 10:13 AM

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization convened outside  experts Tuesday to fast-track promising tests, drugs and vaccines to help slow the outbreak of a new virus that emerged in China that has killed more than 1,000 people and spread to two dozen other countries.

The new coronavirus was only identified late last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan and there are no licensed drugs or vaccines. Diagnostic tests have been developed by several laboratories, but there are no rapid tests available. More than 300 scientists were expected to dial in remotely to the two-day meeting in Geneva that began Tuesday.

To date, the virus has infected more than 43,000 people  and has killed 1,007, with 99% of the cases found in China. Two dozen other countries have reported 393 cases of the virus, with one death in the Philippines. 

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