Prevention & Cure for the Coronavirus. A newly identified coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (formerly 2019-nCoV) has been spreading in China and has now reached multiple other countries. Here’s what you need to know about the virus and the disease it causes, called COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have changed their guidelines for testing for coronavirus as of Thursday (Feb. 27). Previously, only those with ties to someone with a known history of travel to China were tested. The new guidelines will allow doctors and public health officials to test for the virus if they have clinical suspicion that the person has the disease.
—A new case of coronavirus has been confirmed in California, “in a person who reportedly did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19,” the CDC said Feb. 26. This could be the first U.S. instance of community spread of COVID-19, meaning the source of infection is unknown, the CDC said.
—There are now 15 cases of coronavirus in the U.S. detected through surveillance, and 45 cases among Americans who were “repatriated” to the U.S. from Wuhan or the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
—For the first time since the outbreak began, there have been more cases of COVID-19 reported outside of China than from China, WHO said on Wednesday (Feb. 26). In the past 24 hours, there were 459 cases reported outside China, and 412 cases reported from China, according to WHO.
—The first clinical trial in the U.S. to evaluate a treatment for COVID-19 has begun, according to the NIH. The trial will test an antiviral drug called redeliver in hospitalized adults with COVID-19. The first study participant is an American who caught the disease while on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship and is being treated at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).
—In just days, cases of coronavirus in South Korea have skyrocketed to about 1,766, with 13 deaths there linked to the virus. Many of the cases are members of, or somehow linked to, a secret religious sect called Shincheonji Church of Jesus, The New York Times reported.
—Outbreaks of COVID-19 have also been unfolding in Italy and Iran; 655 confirmed cases have been reported in Italy, where 17 deaths have been linked to the virus, and 245 cases have been reported in Iran, where 26 individuals have died. Iran’s Deputy Health Minister has also tested positive for the virus, the Times reported.
—About 82,756 confirmed coronavirus cases (primarily in mainland China), according to the Johns Hopkins virus dashboard.
—2,814 deaths have been linked to the virus. Deaths worldwide exceed those from SARS. 33,277 individuals have recovered after having a confirmed case of the disease.
—About 69 deaths have been linked to the virus outside of mainland China, including in Italy, Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Iran, France, and four Diamond Princess passengers.
—The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting COVID-19 is up to 20 times more deadly than the flu, with a fatality rate of about 2.3% (in the U.S., seasonal flu’s fatality rate is about 0.1%), the Times reports.