Symptoms and prevention — According to the CDC, the new coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19:
- Spreads mainly through person-to-person contact via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes;
- Has symptoms that include fever, cough and shortness of breath and may appear two to 14 days after exposure;
- Currently has no vaccine, and prevention measures for COVID-19 are the same as those for other respiratory illnesses, including avoiding close contact with people who are sick, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, staying home when you are sick, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe and washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
Statistics — According to the World Health Organization’s latest information, published Thursday, there have been 78,630 COVID-19 cases and 2,747 deaths in China. Outside of China, 46 countries, including the United States, have reported 3,664 cases and 57 deaths. Nine new countries were added to the list in a 24-hour period. Fifty-nine cases have been reported in the U.S.; in two of those, the exposure to the virus is thought to have happened within the U.S.
No deaths have been reported in the U.S. or Canada.
People with pre-existing medical conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes appear to develop serious illness more often than others.