Mysterious Wuhan virus: German researchers develop new test for the strain of coronavirus

A group of German researchers have developed the first diagnostic test for the newly detected mysterious virus in China

In 2019 a new strain of coronavirus, of the same family as the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), was identified in China's Wuhan. As of now, two people have died after hit by this pneumonia linked to the new virus in China which has stricken dozens. Reports have claimed that this virus is now spreading in Japan which has caused an alarming situation in Asia.

It should be mentioned that while virologists from all around the world are now studying its genome sequence shared by the researchers from China and on Thursday, January 16, a group of German researchers stated that they may have found a solution to this virus attack.

The Wuhan virus

A man covers his face as he walks to work in Delhi
Wuhan virus (representational picture) Reuters

When the health authorities first detected this virus in Wuhan province, they had no idea what kind of virus is this. The outbreak caused the death of two people in China and had sickened dozens, because of which authorities race to identify the source of the pathogen.

As per the researchers, they rule out the possibility that this virus could be transmitted from person to person, while they have claimed it as an alarming situation due to its link with SARS which killed 349 people in mainland China and another 299 in Hong Kong between 2002 and 2003.

Reports revealed that at least 41 people have been hit by this virus in China, while 12 of them have recovered and were discharged from hospital, said Wuhan health commission. The authority also mentioned that as of now there are five people who are currently in serious condition.

Scientists found the solution?

Representational picture REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

On Thursday, German researchers stated that they have developed the first diagnostic test for the newly detected mysterious virus. The director of the Institute for Virology at Berlin's Charite hospital, Dr Christian Drosten said the test will now allow laboratories to diagnose the coronavirus within a very short period of time.

The researchers mentioned that the test protocol is being made available through the World Health Organization (WHO) and now respective laboratories can also order a molecule from the research team to compare patient samples with a positive control. As reported by the Associated Press, Drosten mentioned that the German team of scientists "have just started receiving orders and are now starting to post the molecule."

He stated that as of now the doctors have been able to perform a general virus test and sequencing the genome. But there are barriers as the large laboratories have been able while smaller labs would struggle to do so.

In addition, Drosten, who was one of the co-discoverers of SARS, said, "We're more concerned about labs in countries where it's not that easy to transport samples or staff aren't trained that thoroughly, or if there is a large number of patients who have to be tested."