Beijing/IBNS: The outbreak of deadly coronavirus in China has claimed 56 lives in the country so far, media reports said.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have started developing vaccines against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
According to Chinese media reports, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has started working on preparing the vaccine.
The CDC has isolated the virus and is currently identifying seed strain, Xu Wenbo, head of the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention under the CDC told Xinhua news agency, adding that they are also screening drugs targeting pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.
Several Chinese cities have imposed travel restrictions to control the spread of the virus.
Wuhan in Hubei, the source of the outbreak, is in effective lockdown, reported BBC.
What are coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are described by WHO as “a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases”.
Probably the best known is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, commonly known as SARS, which broke out in Asia in 2003, and spread to countries in North America, South America and Europe, killing nearly 650 people in China before being successfully contained later that year.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and people, and there are several known coronaviruses currently circulating in animals, that have not yet infected humans.