Viral research being done at USU to stop coronavirus


LOGAN – Dr. Brett Hurst specializes in anti-viral research as a research assistant professor at Utah State University and says basic hand-washing is not to be discounted as a basic way to stay safe from viruses like COVID-19, along with other measures in place. On KVNU’s For the People program on Tuesday, he said viruses, while serious foes, are not all powerful.

“It does have its own weaknesses and has its own susceptibilities so things that it can’t handle as well. I think it is kind of fragile, there are things we can do to get around that, so I think it isn’t an all powerful force like we sometimes think of. But it is very persistent, and it does seem to be spreading quite a bit. It does have us concerned for those reasons,” he explained.

Dr. Hurst said they have a group of about six principal investigators at the university that form part of the Institute for Anti-viral Research.  He said the first thing they do is to see if they can get viruses to grow in cell cultures. The cells might be from any number of organisms, either from human cells, also cells from green monkeys, or perhaps other animals like hamsters or mice.

He said they then try to treat it with a drug and see if they can protect the cells from the virus infection. When it comes to COVID-19, he urges everyone to take it seriously and we need to follow the advice given to try and reduce the mortality seen elsewhere.

To listen to the full interview, click here.

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