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Coronavirus mutation rate is good for vaccine development


<b>Coronavirus mutation rate is good for vaccine development</b>The pathogen that causes covid-19 is genetically fairly stable, which brings hopes for a vaccine that can provide lasting immunity.
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Scientists say it could be possible to find a lasting coronavirus vaccine since it's being observed that the virus is mutating slowly. The virus is fairly stable as it spreads. Reasearchers say that the virus is not mutating quickly, fueling hopes that a vaccine could provide lasting immunity, unlike the seasonal flu vaccine. However, a vaccine is still months if not years away, because it needs to be tested on humans before it can be produced in industrial amounts and made available to the public. "Scientists now are studying more than 1000 different samples of the virus", said Peter Thielen, a molecular geneticist at the John Hopkins University Applied Physics laboratory who has been studying the novel coronavirus. "There are only about 4 to 10 genetic differences between the strains that have infected people in the United States and the original virus that spread from Wuhan", he added. That relative stability suggests that the virus is less likely to become more dangerous as it spreads and represents encouraging news for researchers who are now working around the clock to find a vaccine to the pandemic that has now infected neay half a million people and caused nealy 20,000 deaths worldwide. After infecting more than 80,000 and killing more than 3,000 people in China, the virus which nearly shut down the whole country's economy and transportation for almost two months has slowed down. Several Chinese provinces have downgraded their emergency levels and President Xi Jinping has declared success in the fight against the virus. New cases have dropped to zero for five consecutive days since March 19. Chinese authorities now say they'll lift the lockdown on Wuhan - the city where the first cases emerged in December last year - on April 8, after imposing tight control on people's movements at the neighborhood level across the country during the outbreak. The pandemic has moved its epicenter to Europe where there have been more than 200,000 confirmed cases and 10,400 deaths. Out of these cases, 64,000 are in Italy, which has also recorded the highest number of fatalities in the world: 6,100 deaths. In North America, the United States has the highest numbers, with more than 53,000 confirmed cases and 687 deaths. Canada has more than 2,800 confirmed cases with 26 deaths.

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