In this file photo taken on January 22, 2020 passengers wear protective masks to protect against the spread of the Coronavirus as they arrive at the Los Angeles International Airport, California. -AFP

WASHINGTON: US health authorities are attempting to develop a vaccine against a deadly virus that originated in China and has claimed more than a hundred lives, officials said Tuesday.

National Institutes for Health (NIH) official Anthony Fauci told reporters: “We have already started at the NIH and with many of our collaborators on the developing of a vaccine.”

The process is long and uncertain, he said, “but we are proceeding as if we will have to deploy a vaccine.

“In other words, we’re looking at the worst scenario that this becomes a bigger outbreak.”--AFP