The Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton received a sample of the 2019 novel coronavirus this week and have begun study. The NIH/NIAID facility often works on the most dangerous viruses and diseases and has experience with a related virus, the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus from 2012.

Emmie de Wit, the lab's principal investigator on the new virus, said that projects had already started, according to the Associated Press. The investigations will include how the virus binds to cells, how stable the virus is, establishing an animal model for study and testing the safety of effectiveness of any developed vaccines and treatment. China Friday confirmed over 31,000 cases and over 636 deaths in that country.