Researchers develop 1st diagnostic test for new Chinese virus

London, January 18 (IANS) Researchers have developed the first diagnostic test to detect the novel Chinese coronavirus, which is likely to spread globally.

The assay protocol has now been published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a guideline for diagnostic detection. The new method also enables suspected cases to be tested quickly.

The virus, which first emerged in Wuhan, China, and can cause severe pneumonia, can now be detected in the laboratory.

"Now that this diagnostic test is widely available, I expect that it won't be long before we are able to reliably diagnose suspected cases," said study researcher Christian Drosten, Director of the Institute of Virology on Campus Charité Mitte in Germany.

"This will also help scientists understand whether the virus is capable of spreading from human to human, this is an important step in our fight against this new virus," Drosten added.

Developed by a researchers from German Centre for Infection Research, the world's first diagnostic test for the coronavirus has now been made publicly available.

Following its online publication by the WHO, the test protocol will now serve as a guideline for laboratories. An international consortium is currently conducting a joint evaluation study.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday issued an advisory for travellers visiting China in the wake of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak in the neighbouring country.

As on January 11, 41 novel coronavirus confirmed infection case have been reported from China, of which one has died. One travel related case each has been reported in Thailand and Japan.

The clinical signs and symptoms are mainly fever with a few patients having difficulty in breathing. The mode of transmission is unclear as of now. However, so far there is little evidence of significant human-to-human transmission.

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