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Top Queensland Doctor Warns We're All Going To Get Coronavirus

A top virologist at the University of Queensland believes it is going to be nearly impossible to avoid getting coronavirus, but it will be more like a common cold.

UQ professor Ian Mackay said it would be unrealistic to expect that the coronavirus could be contained, suggesting all nations must be prepared to manage an onslaught of cases.

“It doesn’t look like this virus is ever going to go back in its box,” Professor Mackay told Fairfax.

He believes the virus will become what researchers call an "endemic virus", or one that simply hangs around for life.

Prof Mackay explained that we already have four strains of coronaviruses -- a family of viruses named for their distinctive corona, or 'crown', of sugary proteins encircling the particle. Aussies are susceptible to these type of viruses every year, which present more like a common cold.

"They peak during winter but they still move around ­between us ­during the rest of the year as well. So it’s likely this might become one of those," he said.

His comments come just after the Federal Government launched its coronavirus response plan as the rate of transmission outside China rapidly grew during a 24-hour period.

“We believe that the risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us and, as a result, as a government, we need to take the steps necessary to prepare for such a pandemic,” Morrison said earlier this week.

There are currently more than 82,000 cases of coronavirus with more than 1,700 in South Korea and at least 450 in Italy, mainly in two of its north-most regions.

Morrison also described the government as being "abundantly cautious" but confessed it was necessary to be "realistic" because of the number of countries with confirmed cases.

National

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"What has occurred in particular in the last 24 hours is the data regarding the rate of transmission of the virus outside of China is fundamentally changing the way we need to now look at how this issue is being managed here in Australia," he said.

However, despite our "excellent" healthcare system the Prime Minister said "there is a limit to the services that are able to be provided, which may well be tested during an outbreak of a novel coronavirus with pandemic potential".

There have been 23 confirmed cases in Australia, 11 of which have recovered.