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Washington University researchers working on coronavirus vaccine

A microbiologist said most attempts to make a vaccine will fail

ST. LOUIS — Despite the likelihood they will fail, researchers at Washington University are working on a vaccine for coronavirus.

"Developing a vaccine or a therapeutic for this virus is extremely important," said Dr. Sean Whelan, a microbiologist.

About 80,000 people worldwide have tested positive for coronavirus, but Whelan warned there could more.

“We really don't know what fraction of people are walking around infected and asymptomatic,” Whelan said.

Still, Whelan said there isn't a ton of cause for concern yet.

"You should think right now of the probability that if you're infected with something, it's much more likely you have one of the causal agents of the common cold or something like the flu," he said.

Whelan said most attempts to make a vaccine will fail, but he's holding out hope that he and his team can come up with a solution.

"I think hopefully with luck and hard work we will be successful," Whelan said.

More on coronavirus

ST. LOUIS - While there currently are no known cases in St. Louis of the new coronavirus identified late last year in China, St. Louis-area universities are feeling the impact as the outbreak continues to spread.

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