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‘We’re in it for the long haul’: Australians warned we could all get coronavirus

A top virologist is warning we could all contract coronavirus at one point or another.

Nearly 3000 people have been killed by the virus in mainland China, more than the SARS and MERS death tolls combined, and more than 80,000 people have been infected globally.

Australia has become the first country in the world to declare coronavirus a pandemic, which triggers an emergency response plan.

University of QLD’s Infectious Disease expert and Virologist Associate Professor Ian Mackay tells Deborah Knight the virus could be contained but not abolished.

“It’s quite likely, that not today or tomorrow… maybe months and years later we’ll all probably have been infected by a virus that might just become one of our normal viruses.

“We won’t get rid of it easily. I think we’re in it for the long haul.

“The fact that we don’t have any immunity to it makes it like a flu but one that we’ve never seen before and that’s why we should take it seriously.”

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Image: Getty/Anthony Kwan