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Coronavirus 2019-nCoV: worries, facts and science revolving around the viral epidemics first reported in Wuhan

On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was told about several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan –a city in the Chinese province of Hubei- caused by a so-far unknown viral agent. According to health authorities, this is a novel coronavirus –known as 2019-nCoV- from a wide family of viral pathogens that cause severe pathologies such as the common cold and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). With an unknown origin, the coronavirus 2019-nCoV could have been around animal reservoirs in the natural environment until provoking episodes of contagion among humans who were in contact with the wildlife (zoonoses transmission).


Titled “Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV): worries, facts and science”, the Aula Magna Ramon Parés of the Faculty of Biology of the UB will hold on Thursday, February 13, at 4 p.m., a session to give voice to several experts to analyse this public health problem that is generating a severe impact on the economy at an international level.

The session, open to all audiences, is promoted by the Vice-dean’s Office for Research of the Faculty of Biology and the Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Statistics, and will be opened by the dean of the Faculty of Biology, Rosina Gironès, and the director of the Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Statistics, Professor Jordi García-Fernández.  

Coronavirus: from wildlife to humans

Knowing about the characteristics of coronavirus and its potential as pathogen is the core of the conference to be given by Professor Albert Bosch, member of the mentioned department and president of the Spanish Society of Virology (SEV). The conference “Els ratpenats com a font de nous coronavirus” (Bats as a coronavirus source) will follow, given by the lecturer Jordi Serra Cobo, from the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences and the Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio) of the UB, and distinguished expert on the study of these mammals as natural reservoirs of infectious agents.

The session will continue with an approach to new perspectives to work on a future vaccine against this coronavirus, with the expert Júlia Vergara-Alert (IRTA-CReSA). Last, Professor Antoni Trilla, dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and head of the Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology Services of Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, will share details about the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of this infection caused by coronavirus 2019-nCoV.  

The science forum can be followed on streaming in UBtv channel.