Serbia’s virologist: Vaccine is urgent, or coronavirus will be seasonal disease

NEWS 19.03.2020 21:52
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Source: N1

Dr Ana Gligic, Serbia’s famous virologist, warns in an interview with N1 that coronavirus could become a seasonal disease unless a vaccine is discovered as soon as possible.

Gligic, who led fight against smallpox epidemic in Serbia in 1972 and was the first to isolate the deadliest Marburg virus in the middle of the last century, said that coronavirus was found in nature, “when people search for food, recreation or exploitation, they enter a hotspot, violate the balance and upset what was intact and then cause a disorder…“

„The latest research shows that it is 96 percent identical to the virus from bats. The bats come close to urban areas, they are protected spices, and the first ecosystem rule is that everything is linked and if you disturb only one thing in that chain, you get this. It spreads by air, and that’s the fastest way,” Gligic told N1.

She said that almost all infectious diseases started as a respiratory infection, but then a virus attacked other organs which led to “catastrophe.”

Following the situation in China and Italy, Gligic said it was not precisely clear for how long the incubation period would be.

“That incubation hides the disease because it starts with sneezing, and we are spreading the virus.”

She insisted that the main thing was to find a vaccine.

“We have the source of the infection in bats; we should collect as much material as possible, to test if there is immunity after the infection. We should take sick people’s serum to see if there are anti-bodies because that’s very important,” Gligic said.

She called on the virologists to research, adding that every institute should collect material and make a vaccine.

“If the virus remains in nature permanently, the vaccine is urgently needed. And for making an effective vaccine, it takes a year or 18 months,” Gligic said.

She urged people to be disciplined and that why the self-isolation measures and punishments were introduced to prevent further transmissions.