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Eighteen Monkeys Infected With 'Coronavirus' In Bid To Find Cure

Eighteen Monkeys Infected With 'Coronavirus' In Bid To Find Cure

Eighteen monkeys were infected with a strain of the coronavirus in an attempt to find a solution to the Wuhan 'epidemic'.

The rhesus macaques were exposed to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - a strain which can cause a cough, shortness of breath, a fever and, in some cases, organ failure, according to the World Health Organisation.

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Scientists at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that an experimental vaccine they have developed, called remdesivir, proved effective in treating the infected animals.

More than 2,400 rhesus macaques were infected with a strain of coronavirus. Credit: PA
More than 2,400 rhesus macaques were infected with a strain of coronavirus. Credit: PA

The macaques were all put under observation for six days and it was found that those who were treated with remdesivir prior to infection showed no symptoms.

All of the macaques were euthanized and necropsied six days after being inoculated.

The study concludes: "Our results, together with replication inhibition by remdesivir of a wide range of coronaviruses in vitro and in vivo, may further indicate utility of remdesivir against the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV emerging from Wuhan, China."

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Earlier this month, it was announced that the head doctor of a hospital in Wuhan has died after contracting the Covid-19 coronavirus, as reported by Chinese media.

Dr Liu Zhiming was the director of Wuchang Hospital in the city thought to be the epicentre of the disease. His death was confirmed by People's Daily, the official newspaper of China's Communist Party.

Dr Liu Zhiming was the director of Wuchang Hospital. Credit: Twitter
Dr Liu Zhiming was the director of Wuchang Hospital. Credit: Twitter

The paper tweeted the news, writing: "Liu Zhiming, director of #Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, died on Feb. 17 due to the infection with #COVID19. He is the first hospital director that died from #coronavirus. #RIP."

In what Red Star News called a 'sacrifice', Dr Liu died in the the fight against Covid-19, the official name of the novel coronavirus.

The news outlet, which is based in Chongqing, said that the news was confirmed by various sources. A doctor who worked at Wuhan's Wuchang Hospital told the paper that he was saddened by Dr Liu's death.

Dr Liu is one of a number of medics who have fallen victim to the disease.

Another doctor who was working at a hospital in Wuhan died after contracting coronavirus back in January.

The China Global Television Network shared the news in a tweet and said the doctor who had died was 62-year-old Liang Wudong.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Science, World News, Interesting, Health

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]