U.S. researcher 'on verge of making very significant' coronavirus findings shot dead: reports

A professor working on coronavirus research was found shot dead Saturday inside a home in Pittsburgh, Pa., according to news reports.

Bing Liu, 37, was found in a home in Ross Township, the Allegheny County medical examiner said, per NBC News.

Liu suffered wounds to his head, neck, torso and extremities, CNN says.

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A second body, belonging to 46-year-old Hao Gu, was found an hour later, according to NBC News. His body was reportedly discovered in a car about 1.6 kilometres from the home where Liu was found.

The men are believed to have known each other, Ross Township police Det. Sgt. Brian Kohlhepp told CNN, which reports that investigators believe Gu killed Liu before returning to his car and dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

However, Kohlhepp said there’s “zero indication that there was targeting due to his (Liu) being Chinese,” CNN reports.

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Liu was a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine “on the verge of making very significant findings” related to the novel coronavirus, a statement released by the university says.

“We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence,” the university said.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

— With files from Reuters

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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