PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pitt’s Center for Vaccine Research announced it’s in the process of obtaining samples of novel coronavirus from the CDC.

Dr. Paul Duprex, the director of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vacine Research addressed Pitt’s Faculty Senate at 3 p.m. Monday to announce that Pitt would obtain the coronavirus and work towards developing a vaccine.

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The university says it’s one of the few labs nationwide qualified to handle pathogens like the novel coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization.

“Remember that the polio virus and many of these other viruses that we no longer have to deal with, viruses which are not present in Pittsburgh anymore, were dealt with by vaccines which were developed and tested in Pittsburgh,” said Dr. Duprex.

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The CDC is monitoring the outbreak of the respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Since then, tens of thousands of infections have been reported in China.

There are more than a dozen confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. The CDC says it has also spread person-to-person in the U.S.

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Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.