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Electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virions with visible coronae

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How does a virus like COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 has become a pandemic in just under three months. So how did a virus do this? We look at the basic characteristics of a virus.

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Electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virions with visible coronae
surgeon with face mask on
surgeon with face mask on

Featured

Supporting Aussie manufacturing of COVID-19 face masks

Local manufacturers have answered the call, boosting the supply of facemasks for COVID-19.

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Video

Aerial view of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness

Text: [Welcome to the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness]

A blue screen passes diagonally across vision.

Text on screen: [Leave your clothes behind as you pass through the airlock.]

A left arm showing a white watch on wrist, is knocking on a brown door, then opens their hand and pushes the door inwards revealing a changeroom with blue lockers and shelves behind. Camera pans to show a steel airlock door with round window. Looking through window you see another blue door.

A blue screen passes diagonally across vision.

Text on screen: [Suit up and connect your air supply]

A man is wearing and zipping up the hood of a white fully enclosed biohazard suit. Camera pans to the man’s gloved hands as he pushes two metal plugs together connecting the air supply pipe which a is bright blue spiral hose.

A blue screen passes diagonally across vision.

Text on screen: [You’re ready to enter a level 4 biocontainment lab.]

A whiteboard with heading ‘AGENTS IN CURRENT USE’ in black with four virus names listed in red pen below as follows; Hendra, Nipah, SARS, Ebola. Written above the whiteboard in yellow is ‘Zoonoses Laboratory’, (A zoonotic virus is one that can pass from animals to humans).

Change to view into the large laboratory with six people wearing white fully enclosed biohazard suits, connected to spiral blue air-hoses which hang down from the ceiling. There is a large rectangular steel table with computer screens and laboratory equipment in the middle of the room. Around the walls are laboratory fume hoods (chambers with a work bench with an air extraction system behind a glass panel).

The view changes to focus on one person who is adding a sample to a centrifuge (laboratory equipment that spins samples in test tubes at high speed) on the central table.

A blue screen passes diagonally across vision.

Text: [On the way back out you’ll shower as you pass through the airlock.]

A hand showing a white watch on a wrist is pushes a black button to unlock the airlock door. The hand pushes the steel door open to show us a shower cubicle, with tap on wall and shampoo products on a shower shelf. Door opens wider and the view moves to look through the window of the airlock door on the far side, through which can be seen a towel hanging.

A blue screen passes diagonally across vision.

Text: [All air and waste water is treated before it leaves the building.]

Vision of many yellow and silver pipes, some electrical wiring above a blue metal platform. Vision changes to a line of three large steel drums with the black text on the front ‘FILTER LOADING’ and a red biohazard symbol.

Video ends with a thin white line advancing across the screen to draw the outline of the whole ACDP building followed by the CSIRO logo and text ‘Australia’s National Science Agency’.

Walk through our Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness

See our people getting ready to work in our level 4 biocontainment laboratory and see some of the complex engineering that keeps everyone safe.

Watch more

Aerial view of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness

Text: [Welcome to the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness]

A blue screen passes diagonally across vision.

Text on screen: [Leave your clothes behind as you pass through the airlock.]

A left arm showing a white watch on wrist, is knocking on a brown door, then opens their hand and pushes the door inwards revealing a changeroom with blue lockers and shelves behind. Camera pans to show a steel airlock door with round window. Looking through window you see another blue door.

A blue screen passes diagonally across vision.

Text on screen: [Suit up and connect your air supply]

A man is wearing and zipping up the hood of a white fully enclosed biohazard suit. Camera pans to the man’s gloved hands as he pushes two metal plugs together connecting the air supply pipe which a is bright blue spiral hose.

A blue screen passes diagonally across vision.

Text on screen: [You’re ready to enter a level 4 biocontainment lab.]

A whiteboard with heading ‘AGENTS IN CURRENT USE’ in black with four virus names listed in red pen below as follows; Hendra, Nipah, SARS, Ebola. Written above the whiteboard in yellow is ‘Zoonoses Laboratory’, (A zoonotic virus is one that can pass from animals to humans).

Change to view into the large laboratory with six people wearing white fully enclosed biohazard suits, connected to spiral blue air-hoses which hang down from the ceiling. There is a large rectangular steel table with computer screens and laboratory equipment in the middle of the room. Around the walls are laboratory fume hoods (chambers with a work bench with an air extraction system behind a glass panel).

The view changes to focus on one person who is adding a sample to a centrifuge (laboratory equipment that spins samples in test tubes at high speed) on the central table.

A blue screen passes diagonally across vision.

Text: [On the way back out you’ll shower as you pass through the airlock.]

A hand showing a white watch on a wrist is pushes a black button to unlock the airlock door. The hand pushes the steel door open to show us a shower cubicle, with tap on wall and shampoo products on a shower shelf. Door opens wider and the view moves to look through the window of the airlock door on the far side, through which can be seen a towel hanging.

A blue screen passes diagonally across vision.

Text: [All air and waste water is treated before it leaves the building.]

Vision of many yellow and silver pipes, some electrical wiring above a blue metal platform. Vision changes to a line of three large steel drums with the black text on the front ‘FILTER LOADING’ and a red biohazard symbol.

Video ends with a thin white line advancing across the screen to draw the outline of the whole ACDP building followed by the CSIRO logo and text ‘Australia’s National Science Agency’.

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