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MTU Professor gives update on coronavirus outbreak

Two Iowans are receiving testing for novel coronavirus after they returned from China. This is according to the Iowa Dept. of Public Health. Officials say the two are under voluntary home confinement.  (MGN Image)
Two Iowans are receiving testing for novel coronavirus after they returned from China. This is according to the Iowa Dept. of Public Health. Officials say the two are under voluntary home confinement. (MGN Image)(KWQC)
Published: Feb. 12, 2020 at 9:17 PM EST
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Over the past two months reports of coronavirus cases have gone up across the globe with a majority of the cases in China, much of the danger of the virus is its high infection rate.

"The Challenge with Covid-19, the coronavirus, is that it's very contagious and a lot of people that are exposed to the virus get sick," said Ebenezer Tumban, an Associate Professor of Molecular Virology and Vaccinology for Michigan Tech.

However despite the high rate of infection for the virus, for healthy adults the virus is rarely life threatening.

"The good news about the virus is that it is not as lethal or deadly as other coronaviruses, like the MERS-Coronavirus or the SARS-Coronavirus, but the fear is that if you get it and you have a compromised immune system then the disease may exacerbate," added Tumban.

Currently scientists are working on a vaccine for the virus, but have had difficulties finding success in their efforts.

"There have been groups around the world trying to develop a vaccine for this and other coronaviruses, but the challenge in developing a vaccine is that the virus mutates and they mutate at a very high rate," said Tumban.

While coronavirus cases have popped up all across the globe, currently there are very few cases in the United States.

"I think the media and the government publicizing the information has made it difficult for the virus to spread around the U.S. So far only 13 cases of corona virus have been detected in the U.S. and only 2 cases have been transmitted from person to person," said Tumban.

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