Coronavirus live updates: More than 102,000 people have been infected and nearly 3,500 have died. The US has reported 17 deaths. Here’s everything we know.
Written by: Sinéad Baker, Lauren Frias and Aria Bendix
Business Insider, 3/6/2020
The coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, has killed more than 3,400 people and infected more than 102,000.
The virus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 93 other countries.
More than 360 deaths have been reported outside mainland China, including 17 in the US.
More than 102,000 people around the world have been infected with the coronavirus, and nearly 3,500 have died. Over half of the people infected have since recovered.
China has seen a drop-off in its rate of new cases, but the virus has gained momentum in other parts of the globe.
As of Friday, the new coronavirus — which causes a disease known as COVID-19 — had spread to every province and region in China as well at least 93 other countries. More than 400 people have died outside mainland China.
The US has reported at least 330 cases, including 46 passengers who were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Japan. The country has confirmed 17 coronavirus deaths: 14 in Washington state, two in Florida, and one in California.
The World Health Organization considers the outbreak an international public-health emergency and has warned that the window of opportunity to contain it is narrowing.
Here’s everything we know.
“The people who are likely to die first will have other illnesses,” Adrian Hyzler, the chief medical officer at Healix International, which offers risk-management solutions for global travelers, told Business Insider.Indeed, most patients who have died were elderly or otherwise unwell, according to Chinese officials.
The vast majority of cases, just over 80%, are in China.
The virus’ global fatality rate has hovered near 3.4% for about a week.
The death rate based on recent official numbers of deaths and total cases is 3.4%, though health experts expect it to fall as more mild cases get reported and confirmed.
A previous study from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention found a fatality rate of 2.3%.
Cases have been confirmed in at least 93 countries beyond China.
The US has reported at least 330 coronavirus cases, including 49 repatriated citizens.
We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad,” Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a recent press briefing.
Seventeen deaths have been confirmed in the US — 14 in Washington state, two in Florida, and one in California.
The first publicly confirmed death — a man in his 50s who had chronic underlying health issues — was reported in late February at EvergreenHealth, a hospital in King County.
Two deaths announced March 3 were actually patients who died February 26, but their coronavirus diagnoses weren’t confirmed until later. They are now the earliest known coronavirus fatalities in the US.
The California death, announced March 4, was a Placer County woman who traveled on a Grand Princess cruise ship in February that went from San Francisco to Mexico.
The ship is currently sitting off the California coast. Passengers who remained onboard after the last voyage — around 3,500 people — have been told to stay in their rooms until they’re cleared by medical staff. Many are showing symptoms.
The US has recorded several cases of “community spread” — patients who had no known exposure to the virus or travel history in China.
Twenty-one US states have reported coronavirus cases, though in Nebraska the infections are among only repatriated citizens.
Forty-six of the US patients were passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
On February 17, more than 300 Americans who had been quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan were brought back to the US. Fourteen sick people were flown on the same plane as healthy people (though they were kept isolated), and many others on the flight later tested positive. Everyone who was on the cruise was quarantined at US military bases for two weeks. Many were released Monday.
Health experts and US officials have criticized the decision to quarantine people on the ship, suggesting that the confined spaces and poor hygiene practices on board may have helped the virus spread.
Three US citizens who were evacuated from Wuhan and put under quarantine also tested positive for the virus.
The first case of the coronavirus was reported in Wuhan in December.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person is at risk if they:
•Experience fever, coughing, or shortness of breath within 14 days of traveling to China
•Have come into close contact with someone who has shown these symptoms and recently traveled to China
The study from the Chinese CDC found that patients older than 80 had a 15% chance of dying.
The study looked at 44,000 confirmed patients in China. The data suggests that patients in their 50s were about three times as likely to die as patients in their 40s.
Coronavirus patients with underlying health problems are also more likely to die than otherwise healthy people.
Patients with heart disease had a 10% chance of dying, according to the study. The fatality rate for patients who reported no preexisting conditions was less than 1%.
Chinese and US health officials say the incubation period for the virus ranges from one to 14 days.
Many countries have formulated quarantine policies based on a 14-day incubation period — the amount of time that passes between when a patient gets infected and when their coronavirus test comes back positive.
But one recent study found that a patient’s incubation period was 19 days. Another study published early in February analyzed 1,099 coronavirus cases in China and reported that the incubation period could be as long as 24 days.
A female tour guide in Japan tested positive for the virus a second time last month — evidence that people could get the coronavirus multiple times.
The patient — as a woman in her 40s living in Osaka, Japan — first tested positive for the virus on January 29. She was discharged from the hospital on February 1 and declared virus-free on February 6.
Nearly two weeks later, she developed throat and chest pains. She tested positive again on February 26. China has also reported cases of people getting re-infected.
Few children have gotten sick, but Chinese authorities reported that a baby received a diagnosis just 30 hours after being born.
Other one-off cases of the virus in children include a 9-month-old girl in Beijing, a child in Germany whose father had the virus as well, and a child in Shenzhen who was infected but displayed no symptoms.
But the virus seems to affect mostly adults. A study published in late January speculated that “children might be less likely to become infected or, if infected, may show milder symptoms” than adults.
Disease experts say it’s good that the virus hasn’t spread much among kids because children are less likely to wash their hands and cover their mouths — behaviors that can spread germs.
Nearly 3,400 Chinese healthcare workers have been infected. At least 13 have died.
Research published in February found that nearly a third of hospitalized patients studied at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University were healthcare workers.
On February 7, Li Wenliang, a doctor in Wuhan who was censored after sounding the alarm about the coronavirus, died from COVID-19. The 34-year-old doctor alerted a group of alumni from his medical school about a worrisome pneumonia-like illness in December. But Li was silenced by the police in Wuhan and forced to sign a letter saying he was “making false comments.”
He later caught the coronavirus and died. In total, at least 13 healthcare workers have died from COVID-19. The neurosurgeon Liu Zhiming, a director at the Wuchang hospital in Wuhan, also died of the coronavirus, as did Peng Yinhua, a 29-year-old doctor who postponed his wedding to help treat patients.
The CDC has issued a warning to avoid all nonessential travel to China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran.
The virus has forced school closings in China, Japan, India, the US, Iran, and Italy. The UN warned on Wednesday that nearly 300 million kids have had their education disrupted.
Japan has closed all elementary, junior high, and high schools until early April.
On Thursday, Iran announced it was closing schools and universities until at least March 20, and India announced closings of all primary schools up to fifth grade through March 31. A day earlier, Italy said it was closing all schools as well.
One coronavirus case in New York — a 50-year-old attorney who infected nine other close contacts — has prompted some school closings in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Westchester. One of Washington state’s largest school districts, Northshore, moved its classes online for two weeks starting Thursday after a parent volunteer tested positive for the virus.
Tourist attractions around the world have been shuttered temporarily.
Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland have all been shuttered, though the Tokyo park plans to reopen March 16. The Badaling section of the Great Wall is temporarily closed as well.
The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem closed Thursday for two weeks. The Louvre also closed for three days but reopened Wednesday.
A senior member of the International Olympic Committee said the future of the Tokyo Games could be in jeopardy.
The International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told the Associated Press that a decision about the games would most likely come in May. For now, he added, athletes should continue training.
“As far as we all know, you’re going to be in Tokyo,” Pound said. “All indications are at this stage that it will be business as usual. So keep focused on your sport and be sure that the IOC is not going to send you into a pandemic situation.”
The CEO of the Olympic organizing committee, Toshiro Muto, told CNN on Wednesday that that officials meant for the games to go on as planned.
South Korea’s total cases have surpassed 6,500.
South Korea had confirmed 6,593 infections and 42 deaths as of Friday.
The nation saw a spike in coronavirus cases after a 61-year-old woman transmitted the virus to other members of a fringe religious group, the controversial Shincheonji Church of Jesus.
On February 23, South Korean President Moon Jae-in warned that the country faced “a grave turning point” in its efforts to contain the outbreak.
Italy now has the highest number of coronavirus deaths outside China: 148.
The nation banned public events in 11 towns, closed public buildings, and restricted transport in the country’s northern region.
“We are asking basically that everyone who has come from areas stricken by the epidemic to remain under a mandatory house stay,” Italy’s health minister, Roberto Speranza, said at a press conference on February 22.
On Wednesday, the Italian government prohibited fans from attending sporting events until April 3.
Iran has reported 4,747 infections and 124 deaths.
Sources from Iranian hospitals told the BBC that the death count in Iran could be even higher: about 210.
Multiple senior Iranian officials have contracted the virus. Mohammad Mirmohammadi, a 71-year-old adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, died of COVID-19 on Monday.
Iran’s parliament is now closed.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signed an order last week that banned public gatherings like weddings, concerts, and sports games. The ban is scheduled to lift in time for the Persian New Year on March 20.
Many nearby countries — including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Turkey — have restricted travel to and from Iran.
Switzerland, which has 214 infections so far, has banned all public and private events with more than 1,000 attendees until March 15.
“The Federal Council is aware that this measure will have a significant impact on public life in Switzerland,” the Swiss government said in a statement on February 28. “However, the move is expected to provide effective protection to people in Switzerland and to public health. It should prevent or delay the spread of the disease in Switzerland, thus reducing its momentum.”
China has changed the way its cases are counted multiple times.
On February 13, the Hubei province’s health commission added 14,800 people to its list of cases and reported 242 additional deaths — an enormous single-day jump. The commission said the spike was due to a change in the way cases were counted: The newer numbers included clinical diagnoses made via CT scans of patients’ lungs in addition to lab-test results.
On February 20, however, the commission went back to counting only lab-confirmed cases.
The true number of infected people worldwide is probably still higher than the official total, since people with very mild symptoms are not going in to hospitals or doctor’s offices.
(More at the source, with many charts, graphs, photos and maps. A very thorough article)