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Vial Of Coronavirus Coming To Pitt's Center For Vaccine Research Lab

PITTSBURGH, PA (KDKA) – With researchers at the University of Pittsburgh studying the deadly coronavirus, the actual virus that's headed there is being handled very carefully.

Dr. Paul Duprex with the school's Center for Vaccine Research showed KDKA a demonstration of how the virus will arrive at their Oakland campus.

The small vial will contain a half milliliter of fluid and 50 to 60 million coronavirus particles. Dr. Duprex said it will come in a box. Inside the box will be dry ice and another box. After the second box is opened, there is a special container.

"Which is used to transport the agents around the world. This happens all the time. Viruses move around the world in such containers often," Dr. Duprex said in the KDKA studios.

Inside that container is a sealed bag with absorbent material in case the vial breaks.

"The virus would still be present within this sealed bag, within this sealed box, within a box, within another box," Dr. Duprex said while displaying the sealed bag.

He understands why people would be concerned with the deadly disease in the city, but he assures there are safety measures in place.

Just to pack the box requires at least two hours of training. That's before it's delivered by special vehicles.

"So we don't just let random people send these things around the world," Dr. Duprex said.

The virus goes into labs built specifically to handle these types of disease. They have containment and air controls, and the people handling the virus are trained properly.

"So, they can safely receive it, safely unpack it, safely take it out of tube," Dr. Duprex stated. "With the right people who have all the skills to do the work."

He said his job is to make sure nobody is put at risk.

"Which is why we have the confidence we can do this safely, because we have done it for over 10 years. We have been rigorously inspected by the center for disease control," Dr. Duprex said with confidence.

To learn more about the coronavirus, click here.

Tune into the KD-PG Sunday Edition on Feb. 16 for the full interview and demonstration.

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