UW-Madison researchers lead efforts to understand, thwart new coronavirus

By Kelly April Tyrrell, UW-Madison

Back in 2016, when Zika virus first began to cause infections in the Americas, University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers pulled together a coalition of scientists to study the virus and openly share their data for others.

Two weeks ago, those researchers — David O’Connor, professor at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and Thomas Friedrich, professor in the UW School of Veterinary Medicine  — used the 2016 playbook to start planning efforts to study the novel coronavirus that first emerged in Wuhan, China, in late December 2019.

The virus, which causes flu-like symptoms and respiratory illness, has sickened more than 43,000 people in China and across several nations, according to health officials. At least 1,018 people have died.

Within the next few weeks, Friedrich, O’Connor, and their interdisciplinary partners hope to begin studies to better understand the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV. Read more …