A computer virus that had infected systems coast-to-coast is believed to have been purged from the University of Utah's computer memory banks, authorities said.

Edward Sharp, director of the University of Utah computer center, said Friday he did not think the virus - computer jargon for a sometimes destructive intruder program illicitly loaded into a system or systems - would cause the U. any further problems."No. At least, we don't think so. We've been able to back the virus out. We're running in a more secure mode than we normally would be in," he said. Sharp said the virus, written in the advanced "C" computer language, ran hundreds of lines of "heavily commented" code.

"It was a quite clever code," he said. "Certainly one of the points he (the virus author) proved is that certain systems are vulnerable. It caused us inconvenience but didn't really teach us anything we didn't already know."

Sharp said the virus, which spread nationwide through electronic mail, has the potential to replicate itself and start up new processes - a series of events that could eat up a system's memory and, in effect, "kill the system."

However, "we don't think we've lost any programs or data, but we have lost a lot of time" identifying and eradicating the virus, he said.