A new deadly coronavirus is being studied at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton.

The Associated Press reports that the virus, first identified in Saudi Arabia, can spread from human to human. From September of last year, six people have died from the virus in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The disease apparently attacks the lungs and kidneys.

The Hamilton, Montana, researchers are working with hamsters and rhesus monkeys and are coordinating their work with a Netherlands university, where study is centered on ferrets and monkeys.

The AP quoted RML's Heinz Feldman as saying the research aims to find the best animal to mimic a human infection to understand how the new virus spreads.