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Coronavirus continues to spread, Salt Lake company looks for answers

Salt Lake-based Co-Diagnostics has previously developed testing machines for West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Co-Diagnostics has only about 50 employees, but they’re playing a big part in fighting a deadly disease.

The Salt Lake-based company is at the forefront of developing a test that could be used across the world.

And it couldn’t come a moment too soon.

Right now, Chinese health officials are busy trying to contain an outbreak that has killed 26 people.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus has touched American soil and a second person has been afflicted with the deadly virus.

Fighting disease

The company already has a track history of developing vital testing machines, after they launched NAM-W last year.

That test is able to get results within days for West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Several districts in Utah have already started using NAM-W and now the hope is they can develop something for China.

Coronavirus spreads

Officials with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention say the risk to the U.S. public remains relatively low, even though more cases are likely to be confirmed in the next few days.

Health officials say the virus is spreading from human-to-human contact and the epicenter is Wuhan, China.

With that in mind, the pressure is on Co-Diagnostics to develop an effective test before things get worse.

Company CEO Dwight Egan recently told the Deseret News he feels the test could be developed soon, since their software is “very rapid.”

“It’s that kind of ability that allows us to quickly take a problem and any kind of a disease or mutation of an existing disease, whether it’s RNA or DNA, and to quickly get a solution to it in terms of its diagnosis,” says Egan.

At this time, the Health Organization has not categorized the outbreak as a global health emergency.

According to them, there’s still a lack of evidence of human-to-human infection in any country outside China.