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Global cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. Getty ImagesChinese authorities detected a new outbreak of coronavirus disease in December 2019.The new coronavirus, officially called SARS-CoV-2, causes the disease COVID-19.The death toll from the disease is now over 6,000 worldwide.Editor’s note: This is a developing story that’s been updated since it was first published. Healthline will continue to update this article when there’s new information.
Leaders across the globe continue to fight the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new type of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
The current situation follows the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (SARS) outbreak in 2003 and first detection of Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012.
ER physicians in critical condition with COVID-19The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States is taking a toll on medical staff on the front lines, according to a new report.
“This virus is dangerous, and its impact is still unfolding. As emergency physicians, we answer the call to care for our most vulnerable, even at great personal risk,” Dr. William Jaquis, president of American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), said in a statement. “Knowing that, I urge each of you to meticulously follow the recommended precautions to protect yourself.”
At least two physicians are in critical condition with COVID-19, according to the ACEP.
One physician is in his 40s and based in Washington state, the state with the most cases and deaths in the United States. The other physician is a man in his 70s based in New Jersey.
Perfume factories, distilleries start to make hand sanitizerAs hand sanitizer producers are unable to keep up with demand, other businesses are stepping in to help.
This week, luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) announced they would have all of their perfume factories start to produce hand sanitizer that will be distributed for free in France with French health providers getting priority.
“Given the risk of shortage of hydroalcoholic gel in France, Bernard Arnault has instructed the LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics business to prepare its production sites to manufacture substantial quantities of hydroalcoholic gel to be provided to public authorities,” the company said according to WWD.
France has been put into a virtual lockdown with bars and restaurants closed as the virus has spread to thousands.
In the United States, at least one distillery in Portland is repurposing a byproduct of their production and using it to make hand sanitizer. Shine Distillery and Grill said that they’re giving out free hand sanitizer to customers.

Official talks potential for restaurant closingDr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview on “Face the Nation” that the COVID-19 task force is discussing all options to fight the outbreak including potentially calling for restaurants to close.
“You don’t want to make a pronouncement that no one should ever go into a restaurant. I mean, I think that might be overkill right now, but everything is on the table,” he said. “It may come to the situation where we strongly recommend. Right now, myself personally, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant. I just wouldn’t because I don’t want to be in a crowded place.”
Fauci explained the reason people need to avoid social gatherings right now is to reduce the number of cases occurring during the peak of the outbreak.
Trump tests negative for virusTrump’s physician said the president has tested negative for COVID-19.
The president was tested after he came into contact with a member of the Brazilian delegation later found to have the virus at an event in Mar-a-Lago. At least two other people at the same event contracted COVID-19.
The president initially said he didn’t believe he would need to be tested, but later relented.
Spain and France implement nationwide lockdownsWith the center of the COVID-19 outbreak firmly in Europe, both Spain and France will join Italy in implementing nationwide lockdowns to contain the virus.
According to the BBC, all shops in Spain would be closed except for those selling food or other basic necessities. In France, restaurants, cafes, bars, and other nonessential stores would be closed.
Spain currently has over 7,700 cases with 289 deaths, while France reports over 4,500 cases with 91 deaths.
On Saturday Mar. 14, Trump announced that travelers from the United Kingdom and Ireland would be banned from traveling to the United States. The news comes days after Trump banned travelers from other parts of Europe.
Exemptions may be made for Americans or permanent residents.
National emergency declaredDuring a press conference held Friday Mar. 13, President Trump declared a national emergency over the new coronavirus pandemic.
“The emergency orders I am issuing today will also confer broad new authority to the secretary of Health and Human Services,” said Trump. “The secretary of HHS will be able to immediately waive provisions of applicable laws and regulations to give doctors, hospitals, all hospitals, and healthcare providers maximum flexibility to respond to the virus and care for patients.”
The declaration will allow access to $50 billion earmarked for disaster relief.
WHO says Europe now the center of the outbreakIn a briefing to reporters, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Europe is now the center of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“More cases are now being reported every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic,” he said.
Italy is currently on virtual lockdown as the medical system, especially in the northern region of the country, has become overwhelmed.

World Health Organization (WHO)✔@WHO · Mar 13, 2020Replying to @WHO"More than 132,000 cases of #COVID19 have now been reported to WHO, from 123 countries and territories.
5,000 people have lost their lives, a tragic milestone"-@DrTedros #coronavirus

World Health Organization (WHO)✔@WHO"Europe has now become the epicenter of the #COVID19 pandemic, with more reported cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from #China.
More cases are now being reported every day than were reported in ?? at the height of its epidemic"-@DrTedros #coronavirus
1,33811:56 AM - Mar 13, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy1,407 people are talking about thisPresident bans travel from Europe; Biden speaks about outbreakThe spread of COVID-19 has started to take a toll in the United States in both large and small ways.
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden both took the opportunity to explain what they believe are the most effective actions we can take against the current COVID-19 crisis.
In only the second Oval Office address of Mr. Trump’s presidency, he laid out his plan to deal with the health crisis currently facing the United States, one facet of which is restricting international travel.
“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground,” said Trump during his address.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, in his own speech on the pandemic emphasized the universal nature of the risk COVID-19 presents.
“This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet, we need a plan about how we’re going to aggressively manage here at home,” said Biden. He also forcefully disagreed that restricting travel is an effective method of containing the virus.
NBA suspends season; March Madness tournament canceledThe NBA has suspended the rest of the season after two players on the Utah Jazz tested positive for the virus. Players on five other teams the Jazz played in recent days will also need to be quarantined.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on gatherings of 500 people, which effectively means all shows on Broadway will be canceled.
The President of the NCAA announced that the iconic March Madness basketball tournament will be canceled.

NCAA✔@NCAANCAA cancels remaining winter and spring championships:  http://on.ncaa.com/4tqc2 
View image on Twitter12.5K4:16 PM - Mar 12, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy12.6K people are talking about thisIn addition to these major cancellations, celebrities are now being affected by the virus.
Actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson announced on Twitter they have contracted the novel coronavirus. They were in Australia, where Hanks is shooting a movie when they started to develop symptoms.

Tom Hanks✔@tomhanksView image on Twitter1.08M9:14 PM - Mar 11, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy271K people are talking about thisWHO declares COVID-19 a global pandemic as cases riseThe WHO has declared a global pandemic due to the spread of COVID-19.
“In the past two weeks the number of cases of COVID-19 outside of China has increased 13-fold and the number of infected countries has tripled,” said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus.
“We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and the alarming levels of inaction. COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” he said.
Dr. Fauci said in a congressional hearing on Mar. 11 that Americans should be prepared for the outbreak to get worse in the coming days and weeks.
“We have got to assume it is going to get worse and worse and worse,” he said, according to the New York Times.
He continued, “We cannot look at it and say, ‘Well, there are only a couple of cases here, that’s good.’ Because a couple of cases today are going to [be] many, many cases tomorrow.”
National guard called up in New YorkGovernor Andrew Cuomo of New York has called in the national guard to assist with combating the new coronavirus.
National guard members will help in a containment area centered in the town of New Rochelle just outside of New York City.
A 1-mile radius around the most severe cases will mean public gatherings and school are banned. National guard members will assist with cleaning public areas and ensuring that people have access to food.

Andrew Cuomo✔@NYGovCuomoWe are implementing new emergency measures in New Rochelle, which has the biggest cluster of #Coronavirus cases in the state. Starting on Thursday for 2 wks, there will be a containment zone with a 1 mile radius around the site of the most cases in New Rochelle.
View image on Twitter9692:30 PM - Mar 10, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy782 people are talking about thisCOVID-19 has 5-day incubation periodResearchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health analyzed publicly available data to find the virus has roughly a 5-day incubation period from exposure to onset of symptoms.
The analysisTrusted Source also suggests that about 98 percent of people who develop symptoms will do so within 11.5 days of exposure.
Researchers said this average time from exposure to onset of symptoms suggests the CDC’s 14-day quarantine period for people who were likely exposed to the virus is reasonable.
Another recent study from Sun Yat-sen University in China has discovered that SARS-CoV-2 may have an ideal temperature at which it spreads most easily.
Researchers analyzed the cumulative number of all confirmed cases in all affected cities and regions from Jan. 20 to Feb. 4, 2020. Their findings suggest it spreads most easily at about 48°F (8.89°C).
“The study found that, to certain extent, temperature could significantly change COVID-19 transmission, and there might be a best temperature for the viral transmission, which may partly explain why it first broke out in Wuhan,” wrote the study authors. “It is suggested that countries and regions with a lower temperature in the world adopt the strictest control measures to prevent future reversal.”
The CDC now estimates that over the next year, many people in the United States will be exposed to SARS-CoV-2.
“It’s fair to say that, as the trajectory of the outbreak continues, many people in the United States will at some point in time, either this year or next, be exposed to this virus. And there’s a good chance many will become sick,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), said in a telebriefingTrusted Source with reporters on Mar. 9.
“But again, based on what we know about this virus, we do not expect most people to develop serious illness,” Messonnier added.
U.S. cases top 3,200Cases of COVID-19 in the United States have reached more than 3,200 with 62 deaths.
In Washington state, where 40 people have died, the University of Washington announced it will no longer hold classes on campus for the rest of the quarter and instead rely on online courses.
Stanford University in California is also turning to online courses for the rest of the term.
Dr. Fauci said we’re seeing an “acceleration of cases,” and that if the spread of the virus gets much worse, local or federal government officials may start to impose more serious restrictions on travel or social gatherings.
When asked on “Fox News” whether the United States may try to impose a similar lockdown as the Italian government did, Fauci replied: “Given the spread we’ve seen, you know, anything’s possible. And that’s the reason why we’ve got to be prepared to take whatever action is appropriate to contain and mitigate the outbreak.”
Italy lockdowns to curb spread of virusIn Italy, where cases of COVID-19 have soared in recent weeks, the government is effectively locking down the country.
The prime minister of Italy declared that bars and restaurants will close at 6 p.m. and that leaving the home should be restricted except for work or a few other select errands.
Local U.S. health departments warn they don’t have enough testsWith increasing numbers of people reporting symptoms of COVID-19 across the country, local health departments are warning they don’t have enough testing kits.
Recently, a letter from Dr. Raul Perea-Henze, the deputy mayor of health and human services in New York, reported the city was given just two test kits.
“New York City must receive additional testing kits as soon as they are available from the CDC,” Perea-Henze wrote in the letter. “With multiple positive cases, NYC needs maximum testing capacity to enable successful implementation of the public health strategies that best protect New Yorkers. The slow federal action on this matter has impeded our ability to beat back this epidemic.”
After initial test kits sent by the CDC were delayed in February, the federal government has come under increased pressure to provide test kits for SARS-CoV-2 in order to gauge the extent of the spread in the United States.
Nurses are also sounding an alarm over a lack of preparedness.
A survey by the union that represents nurses, National Nurses United, found a significant portion of nurses say they feel hospitals are unprepared for a major outbreak of COVID-19.
The survey included responses by 6,500 nurses in 48 states. It found a significant number of them don’t have clear information about how to handle patients who may be suspected of having SARS-CoV-2.
Nearly a quarter said they’re not sure if there’s a plan to isolate patients with COVID-19 symptoms.
Old law may expand production of medical suppliesA 70-year-old law called the Defense Production Act allows the president to speed production of materials for purposes of national security.
Health Secretary Alex M. Azar II confirmed it might be used to speed production of COVID-19-related medical supplies on Feb. 28, according to The New York Times.
“I don’t have any procurements I need it for now, but if I need it, we’ll use it,” Azar told reporters at a White House briefing on the administration’s request to Congress for emergency funds to respond to the virus.
Azar also said that if SARS-CoV-2 began spreading widely, those showing mild symptoms shouldn’t seek help at hospitals. Instead, they should stay home to avoid the risk of overcrowding health facilities.
CT scans may help diagnosis of COVID-19Researchers from Mount Sinai confirmed they may be able to use CT scans to speed diagnosis of individuals with symptoms of COVID-19.
The New York-based researchers published their findings in the journal Radiology after analyzing the scans of 94 patients in China admitted to the hospital for treatment.
“Mount Sinai Health System physicians — the first experts in the country to analyze chest computed tomography (CT) scans of patients from China with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) — have identified specific patterns in the lungs as markers of the disease as it develops over the course of a week and a half,” Mount Sinai said in a statement.
According to researchers, out of 36 patients scanned from 0 to 2 days after reporting symptoms, more than half didn’t show evidence of lung disease — which suggests that CT scans can’t rule out disease early.
In 33 patients scanned 3 to 5 days after symptoms, the radiologists detected hazy findings in the lungs called “ground glass opacities,” indicative of the disease.
Patients examined 6 to 12 days afterward universally showed signs of lung disease.
“If coronavirus should continue to spread and impact the United States or elsewhere more significantly, this study equips radiologists with the knowledge to recognize and more confidently suggest if a patient has COVID-19 or pneumonia due to another cause,” said co-author Dr. Michael Chung, assistant professor of diagnostic, molecular, and interventional radiology at the Icahn School of Medicine, in a statement.
However, a recent case study finds conclusive evidence that someone who shows no symptoms can still transmit the virus to others.
Chinese researchers confirmedTrusted Source that a young woman from Wuhan transmitted the virus to her family while never showing symptoms herself.
Also, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) analyzed records of China’s reported cases of COVID-19 from Dec. 8 to Feb. 11 to find that a little more than 1 percent of patients with the virus showed no sign of infection.
Research finds new ways virus can spreadResearchers are studying how people who’ve contracted the virus shed it, and what impact that’s having on affected populations.
One new study has found answers that many won’t find comforting.
Testing and confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 is currently carried out by oral swabs. But research published Feb. 17 in Emerging Microbes & Infections finds evidence that there’s an oral-fecal transmission route.
The scientists reported that its genetic material was detected in both anal swabs and blood samples.
“We detected the virus in oral swabs, anal swabs, and blood, thus infected patients can potentially shed this pathogen through respiratory, fecal-oral, or body fluid routes,” the study authors wrote.
Chinese researchers conducted the study in a Wuhan, China, hospital, and analyzed samples collected from about 180 patients.
Crucially, evidence of SARS-CoV-2 was found in anal swabs and blood — even when it wasn’t detected using oral swabs. According to the study, this was particularly true for those people receiving supportive care for several days.
Findings also suggest that timing is an important factor.
On day 1 of the illness, 80 percent of oral swabs were SARS-CoV-2-positive, but by day 5, 75 percent of anal swabs were positive, while only half of the oral swabs showed infection, according to the study.
“These results confirm that COVID-19 patients have live virus in stool specimens, which is a new finding in the transmission routes of 2019-nCoV,” wrote authors of a study, published by the CCDC publication CCDC Weekly.
This means that sneezing isn’t the only way for transmission. Blood and fecal matter can carry the virus, even when conventional testing comes back negative.
“The virus can also be transmitted through the potential fecal-oral route. This means that stool samples may contaminate hands, food, water, etc., and may cause infection by invading the oral cavity, respiratory mucosa, conjunctiva, etc,” study authors concluded.
Study finds who’s most at riskAlthough medical staff, people with illnesses, and older adults are most at risk, more than 80 percent of COVID-19 cases have been mild, according to a report from the CCDC.
The Hubei province in China, where the infection is believed to have originated, is the hardest hit, according to the report.
The province’s death rate is almost 3 percent, compared with just under a half percent in the rest of the country.
The deadly disease gets a new nameThe WHO announced on Feb. 11 that the disease caused by the new coronavirus originating in China would now be called COVID-19.
Basically, the virus itself is called SARS-CoV-2, and the disease that results from the virus is COVID-19.
Previously, it had been called 2019nCoV, although many media outlets referred to it simply as “coronavirus,” even though that refers to a larger family of viruses.

World Health Organization (WHO)✔@WHO · Feb 11, 2020Replying to @WHO @DrTedros"On Thursday I will travel to Kinshasa, #DRC for meetings with the President and other senior ministers to look beyond #Ebola, and sketch out ways to strengthen DRC’s health system"-@DrTedros #HealthForAll

World Health Organization (WHO)✔@WHO? BREAKING ?
"We now have a name for the #2019nCoV disease: 
I’ll spell it: C-O-V-I-D hyphen one nine – COVID-19"
-@DrTedros #COVID19
View image on Twitter8,72811:09 AM - Feb 11, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy10.4K people are talking about thisAnother MERS and SARS?China state media reported that some of the people who fell ill between Dec. 12 and 29 are sellers from a local wholesale seafood market.
According to the WHOTrusted Source, initial information about the pneumonia cases in Wuhan, provided by Chinese authorities, pointed to the coronavirus as the pathogen causing this cluster.
Chinese authorities reported that laboratory tests ruled out SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, influenza, avian influenza, adenovirus, and other common infectious agents.
More than 8,000 people contracted the SARS virus, and almost 800 died in the 2002 epidemic.
The SARS virus spread to nearly 40 countriesTrusted Source in 2002 and 2003. The same type of virus was associated with a similar outbreak of MERS, which was first identified in 2013Trusted Source in Saudi Arabia.
According to the WHOTrusted Source, MERS has been responsible for about 850 deaths worldwide.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, with some causing less severe disease, like the common cold. Although some easily transmit from person to person, others don’t.
What is a coronavirus?“Corona means ‘crown,’ so these viruses appear crown-shaped when looked at under an electron microscope,” said Dr. Bhanu Sud, an infectious disease specialist at St. Jude Medical Center in Placentia, California.
“Most coronaviruses are harmless,” he said. “They’ll usually cause mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people will get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives.”
Sud emphasizes that while the outlook is good for most people who contract this type of virus, the SARS and MERS strains are more serious.
The death rate is around 10 percent for people with SARS and 30 percent for those with the MERS variant.
No treatment availableAccording to Sud, human coronaviruses most commonly transmit from an infected person to others via:
the air by coughing and sneezingclose personal contact, such as touching or shaking handstouching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands“In the United States, people usually get infected with common human coronaviruses in the fall and winter. However, infection can occur at any time of the year,” he said.
“Most people will get infected with one or more of the common human coronaviruses in their lifetime,” he added.
Sud also points out both SARS and MERS outbreaks were from animal-to-human contact, with SARS most likely from contact with bats and MERS from contact with camels.
“Since the organism causing infection is a virus, to date, we don’t have any specific antiviral medications,” Sud said.
What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19If you have COVID-19 or suspect you have the virus that causes COVID-19, you should seek medical care.
You have several options for obtaining medical care, including being seen by your primary healthcare provider. The CDC recommends calling your provider first so that they can take the necessary steps to prepare for your visit and protect others from possible exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Some healthcare providers also offer virtual visits through your smartphone or laptop, so you may not need to leave your home for an initial assessment.
If you don’t have a primary healthcare provider, you can use this tool to find a local primary care office in your area.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Notify the operator that you have COVID-19 or suspect exposure to the virus that causes it. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.
Disclosure: Healthline maintains a partnership with some of the providers linked above and may receive compensation for services provided.
FEEDBACK:Written by George Citroner on March 15, 2020 - Fact checked by Maria Gifford New
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lucy blair Mar 14 · Tags: @corona virus
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