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New York City 10 Days Away From ‘Widespread Shortages’ Of Medical Supplies, Mayor Says

Topline: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a Sunday CNN appearance that “if we don’t get more ventilators in the next 10 days, people will die who don’t have to die” as the city—now the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus epidemic—faces a possible shortage of medical supplies.

  • “We’re about 10 days from seeing widespread shortages,” de Blasio said, adding, “We have seen next to nothing from the federal government at this point.”
  • De Blasio also said that the military hasn’t been mobilized by the Trump administration, and that the Defense Production Act, which the president invoked by executive order Wednesday, has not been put into motion.
  • “It feels like we’re on our own at this point,” de Blasio said, adding that April would be worse for New York City than March has been, and he fears May could be even worse.
  • CNN also reported Sunday that Federal Emergency Management Agency head Peter Gaynor could not provide a number of how many medical masks were in the federal stockpile or how many have been shipped to state and local governments.
  • In a sign of demand on medical supplies, a Friday letter from a New York-Presbyterian Hospital department head said each employee would only be given one N95 mask (when it typically uses 4,000 per day).

Big number: 300 million. That’s how many masks could be needed for healthcare workers versus the current stockpile of 30 million, as testified to Congress by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the end of February.

Key background: The Defense Production Act is intended to be used by Trump to obtain “health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of Covid-19, including personal protective equipment and ventilators.” Trump faced questions Thursday around his reticence to use the Defense Production Act to compel companies to produce healthcare items to combat the coronavirus, one day after he said he’d be invoking its powers. The New York Times reported Thursday that both the U.S. and countries abroad are facing a shortage of ventilators, with manufacturers saying that they can’t increase production to meet the demand.

Tangent: Tesla CEO Elon Musk volunteered his company’s factories to manufacture ventilators, but it’s unclear whether that will move forward.

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Source: New York City 10 Days Away From ‘Widespread Shortages’ Of Medical Supplies, Mayor Says

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Hospitals are sounding the alarm that they need more equipment as the coronavirus outbreak grows. Greg Cergol reports.

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Will The Stock Market Drop By Half?

In 2008 the S&P fell half off its peak and nothing physical happened to the economy. Now we have two very physical things — supply and demand shocks. The strategy of no strategy means these two physical problems will continue until a vaccine is produced, i.e. likely not for a year or more.


On February 25th, I predicted a massive drop in the stock market due to the coronavirus. At that point it had already fallen 8% from its peak. Today, it’s 20% below its peak. I think it will fall 50% below peak.

That may be conservative. In the Great Recession, the S&P fell half from its peak and nothing physical happened to the economy. Now we have two very physical things — what economists call supply and demand shocks — happening. A growing share of the labor force is not going to work and a growing share of consumers are shunning retail outlets and all other manner of service establishments for fear of getting infected.

Let me give you my partial list of the businesses that I think will go under. I think restaurants will fail. I think coffee shops will fail. I think dry cleaners will fail. I think airlines will fail. I think cruise boat companies will fail. I think hotels will fail. I think department and boutique clothing and other retail stores will fail. I think travel agencies will fail. I think movie theaters will fail. I think universities and colleges will fail. I think theaters will fail. I think theme parks will fail. I think spas will fail. I think resorts will fail. I think convention centers will fail. I think malls will fail. I think gyms will fail. I think orchestras will fail. I think hair salons will fail. I think nail salons will fail. I think barber shops will fail. I think bars will fail. I think every business that’s not online and involves customers will fail.

What share will fail?

Ten percent is optimistic.

Let me justify my view. Containing the coronavirus requires two months at a minimum. Why two months? This is the time it’s taken China to bring new infections down to single digits. Even so, China has not lifted the lockdown of Hubei Province. Indeed, every city you enter in China is now requiring a two-week period of quarantine. China is enforcing this with technology and people. You enter into Shanghai and you’re asked where you are staying. Once you get there, the neighborhood officials, who have been electronically notified of your arrival, check on you daily to make sure you are staying inside.

What happens when China’s new infection rate goes to zero? Will it lift its restrictions? Hard to say. If I’m President Xi and have gone to such lengths to eliminate the problem, I don’t want to run the risk that someone has a four-week incubation period or has slipped across the border carrying the virus and all hell breaks out again. In short, it may be a long time before China returns to something close to normal. Even then, foreigners arriving in China will surely need to spend two weeks in confinement before being let loose on the streets.

We don’t know China’s end game. But we’re pretty sure it has one. The US has no end game. Yes, the president has finally gotten serious about bringing testing on line. But it can take two weeks for infected people to show symptoms. Indeed, 1% will first show symptoms after two weeks. Suppose Joe Blow contracts the virus today. Say ten days later he starts feeling symptoms but he waits another five days to get tested. Then it takes two days to get results at which point he self quarantines or heads to the hospital. Now he’s had 17 days to infect a motherload of people either directly or indirectly. Maybe Joe works in a nursing home. We’ve seen the damage one person with coronavirus can do to a nursing home. The Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington had 120 residents. In recent weeks, 26 have died. Another 24 are definitely infected. And many of the Center’s staff have symptoms, but, as of two days ago, have yet to be tested.

Okay, back to Joe. He gets tested on day 15. But on day 14 he infects Jane Doe who also takes 15 days before going into quarantine, but infects Jack, Jill, and Sandy on day 14. You see where I’m going. Our voluntary (we or our docs decide) testing system does nothing to keep the coronavirus infection from rolling along for months if not years.

Here’s a policy that would actually save lives and the economy. Quarantine the entire country for two weeks. Italy is doing this, although no one knows its duration. At the end of two weeks, test everyone — all 327.2 million people plus any visitors and continue testing everyone once a week for months. Anyone who tested positive would, of course, be quarantined or hospitalized. We would also reopen the borders, but test everyone coming into the country. This is a policy that would a) stop the spread of the infection in its tracks and b) limit the renewed spread of the infection once the quarantine is lifted.

Could we produce hundreds of millions of tests? Yes. During WWII, we built cargo ships in four days. Can we put everyone under quarantine for two weeks? Yes, the president has this authority. Can we require weekly testing. Again, the answer is yes.

Will our president do this? Clearly not. According to him, the “foreign” virus is going to disappear on its own and in short order. President Trump is, himself, possibly infected by way of an aide to Brazil’s president. But, thus far, he has chosen not to get tested. In the meantime, he may have infected or be infecting his top aides as well as his family. And members of his administration may have infected or be infecting much, if not most of Congress. Beyond jeopardizing so many people, the president is setting the worst possible example.

The strategy of no strategy means the two physical problems hammering the economy will continue until a vaccine is produced, i.e. likely not for a year or more. How many retail and service establishments can survive that long without customers, while retaining their employees? Not many. Hence, we can expect a massive wave of layoffs and bankruptcies starting next week.

There are two other reasons to expect a 50% from peak decline in the stock market. First, the market was perceived by many to be overpriced to begin with. Second, corporate America is dramatically over leveraged. To quote the Fed, “The ratio of debt to assets for all publicly traded non-financial companies has hit its highest level in two decades, and the leverage ratio among debt-heavy firms is near a historical high.” The higher the leverage ratio, the larger the percentage decline in stock values for a given percentage reduction in profits.

Moreover, over half of corporate debt is rated BBB compared to roughly 25% in 2008. This means that a large share of corporate America faces solvency risk. Here’s the BBB rating description: “A BBB rating reflects an opinion that the issuer has the current capacity to meet its debt obligations but faces more solvency risk.”

There’s more, but you get the picture. I hope I’m wrong, but I fear an even bigger drop in the market is coming.

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I am a professor of economics at Boston University, a Fellow of the American Academy, a Research Associate of the NBER, and President of Economic Security Planning, Inc. — a company that markets personal financial planning tools at maxifi.com, maximizemysocialsecurity.com, analyzemydivorccesettlement.com, and economicsecurityplanning.com. Recent books: Get What’s Yours – The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security Benefits (a NY Times Best Seller with Phil Moeller and Paul Solman), The Economic Consequences of the Vickers Commission, The Clash of Generations (with Scott Burns), Jimmy Stewart Is Dead, and Spend ‘Til the End. Follow me on twitter @kotlikoff, Circle me on Google , check out my website, kotlikoff.net, and ask me Social Security questions by clicking Ask Larry at the bottom of http://www.maximizemysocialsecurity.com.

Source: Will The Stock Market Drop By Half?

 

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Coronavirus Drug Update: The Latest Info On Pharmaceutical Treatments And Vaccines

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic poses a unique challenge for healthcare providers. There are no approved treatments for this disease, nor are there any approved vaccines.

That’s put big drug companies, universities and biotech startups on the hot seat. Since the 2003 outbreak of SARS, another variety of deadly coronavirus, they’ve been researching ways to handle diseases that can be produced by this family of viruses. When a coronavirus is capable of infecting humans, it typically attacks the respiratory system, which can make them particularly deadly.

It usually takes about 10 to 15 years to develop a vaccine. The good news: leaps in technology, such as the ability to rapidly sequence virus genomes and to create vaccines out of messenger RNA, are speeding up the process of development. Developing new drug treatments can also take time – about a decade from discovery to getting on the market. But here technology also provides an advantage: new types of antiviral drugs and immunotherapy treatments, can treat a wide range of diseases. Which means that drugs already in the development pipeline or already treating diseases in patients could be useful to fight COVID-19, shortening the time it will take to make an effective medicine.

On this page, we’ll be tracking and regularly updating the development of new treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, from research to testing to commercial release.

Gilead Sciences

For the past few years, Foster City, California-based Gilead has been developing Remdesivir, an anti-viral that’s shown promising results in lab and animal studies against SARS, MERS, Ebola and other infectious diseases, including COVID-19. The company has initiated clinical trials in the U.S. and China to see if the drug can be effective against the new coronavirus, and also working with governments to provide the drug as an emergency treatment in the absence of other options.

Status: Large-scale human testing

Of note: A World Health Organization assessment from February described remdesivir as the “most promising candidate” against COVID-19.

AbbVie

AbbVie manufactures the co-formulation lopinavir/ritonavir, which is used to treat HIV. It’s currently collaborating with health authorities to see if it can be used as a treatment against COVID-19, based on unconfirmed reports in China that its use was helpful in combating it. It has provided the drug to several countries, including China, as an experimental option.

Status: Working with health authorities such as the CDC, WHO, and the National Institutes of Health regarding testing.

Moderna

Cambridge, MA-based biotech startup Moderna has developed a potential mRNA vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccine was developed in collaboration with scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The vaccine works by getting the immune system to develop antibodies against a “spike protein” found on the virus. A batch of the vaccine has been manufactured and delivered to the NIAID for a first round of testing.

Status: Phase 1 testing

Of note: The vaccine was developed, manufactured and sent out for testing just 42 days after the coronavirus DNA sequence was first published.

Johnson & Johnson

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has partnered with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a federal agency that helps develop countermeasures to biological threats, to develop potential vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. The company is working to identify molecules in its libraries that might be effective against the disease. It’s also leveraging technologies that were used to successfully develop an ebola vaccine towards finding promising vaccine candidates.

Status: Investigation and development

Of note: In addition to looking at new therapies, Johnson & Johnson has sent batches of its HIV drug darunavir/cobicistat to China to test its efficacy against COVID-19.

Eli Lilly

Indiana-based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced that it is partnering with Vancouver-based biotech firm AbCellera to co-develop antibody-based treatments against COVID-19. The firms have already discovered “hundreds” of antibodies that might be effective against the disease, with the next step being to screen those for the most effective treatment candidate.

Status: Screening antibody candidates to move to testing phase

Of note: “In 11 days, we’ve discovered hundreds of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the current outbreak,” AbCellera CEO Carl Hansen said in a statement.

Pfizer

Earlier this month, Pfizer announced that it had discovered several promising antiviral molecules that stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus from reproducing in cells in the lab. The candidates are currently being screened to identify the best candidates to move into the development pipeline. The company’s Chief Science Officer, Mikael Dolsten, noted that the company might also consider exploring the combination of these molecules with antiviral treatments developed by other firms.

Status: Early development

Of note: On Friday, the company announced that part of its plan to combat COVID-19 would be sharing its expertise with smaller biotech companies and committed to using its excess manufacturing capacity to scale up any approved therapy or vaccine.

GlaxoSmithKline

GSK has previously developed a pandemic vaccine adjuvant platform, a system that helps to improve vaccines by strengthening the immune response in patients who receive it. In February, the company announced it was partnering with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to use that platform to improve potential vaccines to the new coronavirus. As part of that collaboration, it signed an agreement with the University of Queensland, Australia, which is developing a potential vaccine.  GSK has also partnered with Chinese pharmaceutical company Clover to use its adjuvant platform with that company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Status: Vaccines are still in early testing

Vir Biotechnology

San Francisco-based Vir Biotechnology announced March 12 that it’s going to be collaborating with BioGen to manufacture antibodies that may have potential to treat COVID-19. The company has identified antibodies from people who recovered from SARS, and is studying to see if they might be active against the new coronavirus, as the two are very similar. Vir is also working with federal agencies to advance its research against other coronaviruses.

Status: Early stage

Of note: In February, Vir announced it’s working with Chinese pharmaceutical firm WuXi Biologics on this research as well.

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Source: Coronavirus Drug Update: The Latest Info On Pharmaceutical Treatments And Vaccines

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Coronavirus Layoffs: A Running List Of Job Losses Caused By The Pandemic

Topline: As the coronavirus pandemic wipes out markets, closes schools and colleges, suspends major conferences, sports leagues and cultural events as well as upends the travel industry, businesses losing out on cash flow have started laying off workers.

Here’s who’s axed staff so far:

  • Norwegian Air said Thursday that it would temporarily lay off up to 50% of its workforce (and suspend 4,000 flights) due to the pandemic.
  • 50 employees of music and culture festival South By Southwest were let go after this year’s event was canceled, the Washington Post reported.
  • The Port of Los Angeles let go of 145 drivers after ships from China stopped arriving.
  • Christie Lights, an Orlando, Florida, based stage lighting company, laid off 100 employees.
  • HMSHost, a Seattle, Washington, global restaurant-services provider said it would lay off 200 people and an area corporate shuttle service would lay off 75, HuffPost reported, while an area hotel chain eliminated an entire department, according to the Post.
  • Travel agencies in Los Angeles, California, along with Atlanta, Georgia, had to let employees go as the pandemic battered their industry.
  • Aid workers in Las Vegas are reportedly seeing a surge in requests for food assistance and other help as events and trade shows get canceled.

What to watch for: If any U.S. airlines end up laying off workers. Delta Airlines said Tuesday it was cutting flights and freezing hiring. American Airlines is also cutting flights, and delaying trainings for new flight attendants and pilots. Reuters reported Thursday that jobless claims are down for the week, but coronavirus-related layoffs are likely on the horizon.

Big number: 2,352 points. That’s how far the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted Thursday, which is a 10% drop. The S&P 500 fell 9.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite sank 9.4%.

Key background: There are now more than 1,300 reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. and at least 38 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide cases now amount to almost 128,000 infected and more than 4,700 dead. Meanwhile, Congress is in conflicted talks over a coronavirus relief bill that may not pass this week, while New York and other state governments begin to implement bans on large gatherings to stem the spread of disease. Cancelations of concerts, sports leagues, festivals, religious gatherings and other large events have impacted millions of people. At least 135 colleges have so far canceled in-person classes. On Wednesday night, President Trump announced a 30 day travel ban from Europe (excluding the U.K. and Ireland) that sent airlines and travelers scrambling to adjust.

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Source: Coronavirus Layoffs: A Running List Of Job Losses Caused By The Pandemic

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Andy Challenger of Challenger, Gray and Christmas, a global outplacement and career transitioning firm, joins ‘Power Lunch’ to discuss the four waves of layoffs they see happening as a result of the coronavirus impact. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://www.cnbc.com/pro/?__source=yo… » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic Turn to CNBC TV for the latest stock market news and analysis. From market futures to live price updates CNBC is the leader in business news worldwide. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC

As Coronavirus Spreads, Many Questions & Some Answers From Harvard Health Blog

The rapid spread of the coronavirus and the illness it causes called COVID-19 has sparked alarm worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency, and many countries are grappling with a rise in confirmed cases. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising people to be prepared for disruptions to daily life that will be necessary if the coronavirus spreads within communities.

Below, we’re responding to a number of questions about COVID-19 raised by Harvard Health Blog readers. We hope to add further questions and update answers as reliable information becomes available.

Does the coronavirus spread person-to-person?

What is the incubation period for the coronavirus?

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

Can people who are asymptomatic spread coronavirus?

Can the coronavirus live on soft surfaces like fabric or carpet? What about hard surfaces?

Should I wear a face mask to protect against coronavirus? Should my children?

Should someone who is immunocompromised wear a face mask?

Should I accept packages from China?

Can I catch the coronavirus by eating food prepared by others?

Should I travel on a plane with my children?

Is there a vaccine available for coronavirus?

Is there a treatment available for the new coronavirus?

How is this new coronavirus confirmed?

How deadly is this coronavirus?

What should people do if they think they have coronavirus or their child does? Go to an urgent care clinic? Go to the ER?

Can people who recover from the coronavirus still be carriers and therefore spread it?

Does the coronavirus spread person-to-person?

Yes, the virus can spread from one person to another, most likely through droplets of saliva or mucus carried in the air for up to six feet or so when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Viral particles may be breathed in, land on surfaces that people touch, or be transferred when shaking hands or sharing a drink with someone who has the virus.

Often it’s obvious if a person is ill, but there are cases where people who do not feel sick have the virus and can spread it.

Basic steps for avoiding flu and other infections — including steps for handwashing shown in this video and avoiding touching your mouth, nose, and eyes — are likely to help stop the spread of this virus. The CDC has a helpful list of preventive steps.

Quarantines and travel restrictions now in place in many counties, including the US, are also intended to help break the chain of transmission. Public health authorities like the CDC may recommend other approaches for people who may have been exposed to the virus, including isolation at home and symptom monitoring for a period of time (usually 14 days), depending on level of risk for exposure. The CDC has guidelines for people who have the virus to help with recovery and prevent others from getting sick.

What is the incubation period for the coronavirus?

An incubation period is the time between being exposed to a germ and having symptoms of the illness. Current estimates suggest that symptoms of COVID-19 usually appear around five days on average, but the incubation period may be as short as two days to as long as 14 days.

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

Fever, dry cough, and trouble breathing are the common symptoms of COVID-19. There have been some reports of gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) before respiratory symptoms occur, but this is largely a respiratory virus.

Those who have the virus may have no obvious symptoms (be asymptomatic) or symptoms ranging from mild to severe. In some cases, the virus can cause pneumonia and potentially be life-threatening.

Most people who get sick will recover from COVID-19. Recovery time varies and, for people who are not severely ill, may be similar to the aftermath of a flulike illness. People with mild symptoms may recover within a few days. People who have pneumonia may take longer to recover (days to weeks). In cases of severe, life-threatening illness, it may take months for a person to recover, or the person may die.

Can people who are asymptomatic spread coronavirus?

A person who is asymptomatic may be shedding the virus and could make others ill. How often asymptomatic transmission is occurring is unclear.

Can the coronavirus live on soft surfaces like fabric or carpet? What about hard surfaces?

How long the new coronavirus can live on a soft surface — and more importantly, how easy or hard it is to spread this way — isn’t clear yet. So far, available evidence suggests it can be transmitted less easily from soft surfaces than frequently-touched hard surfaces, such as a doorknob or elevator button.

According to the WHO, coronaviruses may survive on surfaces for just a few hours or several days,  although many factors will influence this, including surface material and weather.

That’s why personal preventive steps like frequently washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and wiping down often-touched surfaces with disinfectants or a household cleaning spray, are a good idea.

Should I wear a face mask to protect against coronavirus? Should my children?

Follow public health recommendations where you live. Currently, face masks are not recommended for the general public in the US. The risk of catching the virus in the US is low overall, but will depend on community transmission, which is higher in some regions than in others. Even though there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, most people are more likely to catch and spread influenza (the flu). (So far this season, there have been nearly 30 million cases of flu and 17,000 deaths.)

Some health facilities require people to wear a mask under certain circumstances, such as if they have traveled from areas where coronavirus is spreading, or have been in contact with people who did or with people who have confirmed coronavirus.

If you have respiratory symptoms like coughing or sneezing, experts recommend wearing a mask to protect others. This may help contain droplets containing any type of virus, including the flu, and protect close contacts (anyone within three to six feet of the infected person).

The CDC offers more information about masks. The WHO offers videos and illustrations on when and how to use a mask.

Should someone who is immunocompromised wear a mask?

If you are immunocompromised because of an illness or treatment, talk to your doctor about whether wearing a mask is helpful for you in some situations. Advice could vary depending on your medical history and where you live. Many people will not need to wear a mask, but if your healthcare provider recommends wearing one in public areas because you have a particularly vulnerable immune system or for other reasons, follow that advice.

Should I accept packages from China?

There is no reason to suspect that packages from China harbor COVID-19. Remember, this is a respiratory virus similar to the flu. We don’t stop receiving packages from China during their flu season. We should follow that same logic for this novel pathogen.

Can I catch the coronavirus by eating food prepared by others?

We are still learning about transmission of COVID-19. It’s not clear if this is possible, but if so it would be more likely to be the exception than the rule. That said, COVID-19 and other coronaviruses have been detected in the stool of certain patients, so we currently cannot rule out the possibility of occasional transmission from infected food handlers. The virus would likely be killed by cooking the food.

Should I travel on a plane with my children?

Keep abreast of travel advisories from regulatory agencies and understand that this is a rapidly changing situation. The CDC has several levels of travel restrictions depending on risk in various countries and communities.

Of course, if anyone has a fever and respiratory symptoms, that person should not fly if at all possible. Anyone who has a fever and respiratory symptoms and flies anyway should wear a mask on an airplane.

Is there a vaccine available for coronavirus?

No vaccine is available, although scientists are working on vaccines. In 2003, scientists tried to develop a vaccine to prevent SARS but the epidemic ended before the vaccine could enter clinical trials.

Is there a treatment available for coronavirus?

Currently there is no specific antiviral treatment for this new coronavirus. Treatment is therefore supportive, which means giving fluids, medicine to reduce fever, and, in severe cases, supplemental oxygen. People who become critically ill from COVID-19 may need a respirator to help them breathe. Bacterial infection can complicate this viral infection. Patients may require antibiotics in cases of bacterial pneumonia as well as COVID-19.

Antiviral treatments used for HIV and other compounds are being investigated.

There’s no evidence that supplements, such as vitamin C, or probiotics will help speed recovery.

How is this new coronavirus confirmed?

A specialized test must be done to confirm that a person has COVID-19. Most testing in the United States has been performed at the CDC. However, testing will become more available throughout the country in the coming weeks.

How deadly is this coronavirus?

We don’t yet know. However, signs suggest that many people may have had mild cases of the virus and recovered without special treatment.

The original information from China likely overestimated the risk of death from the virus. Right now it appears that the risk of very serious illness and death is less than it was for SARS and MERS. In terms of total deaths in the United States, influenza overwhelmingly causes more deaths today than COVID-19.

What should people do if they think they have coronavirus or their child does? Go to an urgent care clinic? Go to the ER?

If you have a health care provider or pediatrician, call them first for advice. In most parts of the US, it’s far more likely to be the flu or another viral illness.

If you do not have a doctor and you are concerned that you or your child may have coronavirus, contact your local board of health. They can direct you to the best place for evaluation and treatment in your area.

Only people with symptoms of severe respiratory illness should seek medical care in the ER. Severe symptoms are rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, high or very low temperatures, confusion, trouble breathing, severe dehydration. Call ahead to tell the ER that you are coming so they can be prepared for your arrival.

Can people who recover from the coronavirus still be carriers and therefore spread it?

People who get COVID-19 need to work with providers and public health authorities to determine when they are no longer contagious.

Reliable resources

Also, read our earlier blog posts on coronavirus:

Related Information: Cold and Flu

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What Is Coronavirus (COVID-19)? The World Health Organization declared the new #Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak a global health emergency in January 2020. Experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine are closely monitoring the spread of the virus and offering useful information on what the disease is and how to help prevent transmission. For more information, please visit the #JohnsHopkins Medicine coronavirus website. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/coron…

11 People Have Died of Coronavirus in the U.S. & At Least 15 States Have Confirmed Cases

A stretcher is moved from an AMR ambulance to the Life Care Center of Kirkland where one associate and one resident were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) according to a statement released by the facility in Kirkland, Washington on February 29, 2020. – The first fatality from the novel coronavirus has been confirmed on US soil, as President Donald Trump on Saturday urged Americans not to panic. (Photo by Jason Redmond / AFP) (Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

Eleven people have now died in the United States after contracting the novel coronavirus. Ten of the U.S. deaths have been in Washington state and one has been in California, with the latest two fatalities confirmed on Wednesday.

At least 159 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus—known as COVID-19—in the U.S. so far, according to a virus tracker from researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The infections are scattered across at least 16 U.S. states.

During a Wednesday evening press conference, Vice President Mike Pence, put in charge of U.S. coronavirus preparedness by President Trump, again reassured the public that the chance of getting the virus “remains low” and reiterated that Americans don’t need to buy masks.

Pence said that all travel coming from Iran has been suspended and “even foreign nationals who visit either [China or Iran] are barred from coming into this country for 14 days.”

Pence also said that the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services has issued new guidelines for nursing homes nationwide aiming to improve infectious disease control and ensure those operating these facilities are complying with federal standards. Many of the cases in Washington State have been linked with a nursing home.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Pence had said the U.S. is now “screening 100% of all travelers taking direct flights from all airports in Italy and South Korea” to the U.S and that Medicaid and Medicare would cover the cost for Americans who can’t afford COVID-19 testing. He added that new guidance would quickly be issued “to make it clear that, subject to a doctor’s orders, anyone can be tested.”

Federal officials noted that the American public should prepare for “more cases in the community” as the country improves its ability to track and diagnose the disease.

Outside Washington and New York, at least 14 other states have recorded confirmed COVID-19 cases. A number of these cases are Americans evacuated from the virus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, where over 620 passengers and crew were diagnosed with the virus.

Globally, more than 94,000 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed or clinically confirmed as of March 4 and more than 3,200 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. The vast majority of cases are in China, but diagnoses in the U.S. are expected to increase over the coming days and weeks, according to the CDC.

U.S. Citizens Document A Day In The Life On Lockdown In Wuhan

On early Wednesday morning, a U.S. plane evacuated around 240 Americans from Wuhan. Justin Steece and Priscilla Dickey were not on that plane with their families.

Here’s what to know about COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

California

California announced the state’s first COVID-19 death and State Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.

Northern California health officials said that an elderly adult with underlying health conditions died while in isolation at a hospital in Roseville in Placer County. Officials said he was likely exposed while on the Grand Princess — a Princess cruise ship which traveled from San Francisco to Mexico last month. The ship is currently stuck offshore.

Local and federal health officials are now working to contact other cruise passengers as they “may also have been exposed,” according to Placer County health officials. Newsom said about 2,500 passengers traveled on the same voyage as the Placer Country victim.

As of Wednesday, 53 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in California. Of these, 24 were cases related to repatriation flights and 29 cases were not related to these flights; 12 were travel-related. 10 more involved person-to-person spread, four involved community transmission and three were “currently under investigation.”

A patient at the University of California-Davis Medical Center, who is a resident of Solano County, was confirmed as the first U.S. case of possible human-to-human transmission in the general public on Feb. 26. The patient was not tested for the deadly disease for four days — despite the hospital asking federal health authorities for a test. The patient is at the University of California-Davis Medical Center and is a resident of Solano County.

The first confirmed cases in the state were announced by the CDC on Jan. 26; the two patients had recently returned to the U.S. from Wuhan.

Keep up to date on the growing threat to global health by signing up for our daily coronavirus newsletter.

Washington

Officials in Washington State confirmed a tenth coronavirus death on Wednesday and the state currently has 39 COVID-19 cases.

Nine of the deaths are in King County, and an additional death is in Snohomish County. The most recently reported deaths in King County include a woman in her eighties who was never hospitalized and died at her family home, and a man in his 50s who was hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center. Both of them died on Feb. 26 and were residents of Life Care Center in Kirkland, a long-term residential facility where more than 50 people have reported symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection.

On Tuesday, Acting U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said that he had ordered the facility to close “out of an abundance of caution” and “directed those employees to telework, if possible, in order to reduce the threat of community spread of the coronavirus.”

The center said in a statement Wednesday that there are several confirmed COVID-19 cases connected to the facility. It added that current residents and associates continue to be monitored closely” and that it is following the infection control recommendations from the CDC. The center had previously said all visits from family and volunteers are suspended for the time being, and new residents are currently not being admitted to the center.

King County announced an additional seven new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. Thirty-one cases in the state, including those who died, are in King County. At least another nine are in Snohomish County, according to Washington State’s Department of Health. About 230 people at risk of having been exposed to the coronavirus are under medical supervision.

King County signed an emergency declaration on Sunday allowing it to take extra steps to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. “Among the first actions: purchasing a motel and setting up modular housing units on publicly-owned parking lots and other available land,” the county said in a statement.

Health officials say the first patient who succumbed to the virus had no known history, travel or contact with a known COVID-19 case, suggesting he was infected by human-to-human transmission (often referred to as community transmission).

The results of a study published by Trevor Bedford, a computational biologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, suggests that the true number of infections in the state is “a few hundred.”

The study “strongly suggests that there has been cryptic transmission in Washington State for the past six weeks,” Bedford tweeted.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Saturday in response to the new cases, and directed state agencies to use “all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.”

The first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. appeared in Washington on Jan. 21. A 35-year-old man presented himself to an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, Wash., after four days of cough and fever, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, which reported that he had recently been visiting family in Wuhan.

The man was released from a Washington hospital on Feb. 4, according to the Associated Press.

Cruise ship evacuees

On Feb. 17, the U.S. State Department evacuated more than 300 American citizens from a quarantined cruise ship in Japan. The Diamond Princess has the largest outbreak of the novel coronavirus outside China, with at least 621 confirmed cases so far.

During the evacuation process, American officials learned that 14 of the Americans being repatriated were infected with COVID-19, according to a joint statement from the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

After consulting with HHS, officials with the State Department decided to allow the 14 individuals, “who were in isolation, separated from other passengers, and continued to be asymptomatic, to remain on the aircraft to complete the evacuation process,” the statement said.

CDC spokesperson Richard Quartarone told TIME hospitalized patients are at facilities in Sacramento and San Antonio, Texas, or at the Nebraska Medical Center.

Evacuees who were not hospitalized were held in quarantine for 14 days after departing planes at Travis Air Force Base in Sacramento, Calif. and Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, officials said.

Most, if not all, of these evacuees have since been released from federal quarantine.

More than 100 American citizens who had been on the Diamond Princess remained in Japan, including in hospitals, the CDC said on Feb. 18. The CDC specified that these citizens will only be allowed to fly back to the U.S. if they test negative for and don’t show any symptoms of the virus during the 14-day period.

“If an individual from this cruise arrives in the United States before the 14-day period ends, they will still be subject to a mandatory quarantine until they have completed the 14-day period with no symptoms or positive coronavirus test results,” the CDC said.

The CDC also highlighted concerns with the quarantine process on board the ship, saying that it may have slowed the spread of the disease but that it “may not have been sufficient to prevent transmission among individuals on the ship.”

New York

On Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo confirmed 11 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total in the state to 22. Of the new cases, eight are in Westchester, two are in New York City and one is in Nassau County. “We are trying to contain as much as possible the spread of each case we find – but we expect more cases,” Cuomo said.

Thursday’s cases in New York City include a man in his 40s and a woman in her 80s; neither had traveled to areas with known outbreaks or are connected to other individuals already diagnosed with the disease, according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

On Wednesday afternoon, Cuomo confirmed five new cases, all in a single family from New Rochelle: a wife and husband in their 40s and three of their children. The entire family is under self-quarantine, Cuomo said.

On Wednesday morning, Cuomo had confirmed an additional four cases of coronavirus. All four are tied to the state’s second case of COVID-19, announced Tuesday — a man in his 50s who lives in Westchester County and works in Manhattan. Those four cases included his wife, two of his children and a neighbor who drove him to the hospital, Cuomo said.

The female child attends SAR Academy and High School in the Bronx and the male child attends Yeshiva University in Manhattan and has not been on campus since Feb. 27, according de Blasio. The children and their mother remain isolated at their home in Westchester, de Blasio said.

Cuomo noted on Tuesday that the man in his fifties had not traveled to regions with increasing COVID-19 cases, but had recently been to Miami. However he noted “that is not a place we have known there is any cluster of coronavirus.”

On Sunday, Cuomo confirmed New York’s first case of the coronavirus. He said on Twitter that a woman in her late 30s contracted the virus while traveling in Iran. She has mild respiratory symptoms but is not in serious condition, and is currently isolated in her home.

Cuomo said there is “no reason for anxiety” as the “general risk remains low in New York.” Still, residents rushed to purchase masks and hand sanitizers at pharmacies, which saw long lines out the door, according to the New York Times. Many said they were out of stock.

Nebraska

Doctors in Nebraska have treated 13 COVID-19 patients — all of whom were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, according to the New York Times.

Texas

Texas has 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, according to the Texas Tribune.

Eleven involve evacuees who were infected overseas before arriving at the San Antonio Lackland Air Force Base for quarantine. The only case identified outside of the site is a man in his 70s who lives in the Houston area. He recently returned from travel abroad and is currently isolated in the hospital, according to Texas Health and Human Services.

The City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and the CDC announced Feb. 13 that the first person testing positive for COVID-19 in Texas was one of the Americans evacuated from Wuhan and transported to the military base on Feb. 7, after leaving Wuhan the previous day.

On the morning of Feb. 11, the patient exhibited signs of a fever, Jennifer McQuiston, a CDC division deputy director, said. The person was transported to a hospital that morning, where samples were gathered and sent to the CDC overnight. Officials received the positive diagnosis the following day.

“[That patient is] receiving excellent medical care,” McQuiston said at a Feb. 13 press conference. “They were, of course, not happy to learn of their diagnosis last night, and they do have loved ones in the United States that they are in contact with by phone, and we wish this individual well.”

Dr. Anita Kurian, assistant director at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, also said at the press conference that “the risk for us at this time to the community here is still considered low.”

Illinois

Illinois officials said it has four “presumed positive” cases on Tuesday. The third and fourth cases are a married man and woman in their seventies.

The first case in Illinois was a woman in her 60s who had returned to the U.S. from Wuhan on Jan. 13, health officials said at a press briefing on Jan. 30. Her husband then contracted the virus, becoming the first confirmed case of person-to-person transfer of the virus in the U.S.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Feb. 12 that it became the first state in the U.S. to begin in-state testing for the virus.

Oregon

Oregon has confirmed three “presumptive positive” cases of COVID-19 in the state. One of those cases was confirmed by the CDC on Wednesday.

State officials confirmed a third case on Tuesday: an adult Umatilla County resident who is hospitalized in Walla Walla, Wash. Initial reports suggest that the resident recently went to a youth basketball game at a middle school. Athena-Weston School District officials closed the gym in question and would “conduct a deep cleaning out of an abundance of caution,” health officials said in a statement.

The state’s first and second COVID-19 cases are adults in Washington County who live together. Neither person has “ a history of travel to a country where the virus was circulating, nor is believed to have had a close contact with another confirmed case,” health officials said in a statement. “As such, public health officials are considering it a likely community-transmitted case, meaning that the origin of the infection is unknown.”

Florida

The CDC confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in Florida, the Florida Department of Health said on Monday. Officials said on Tuesday that a third person in the state had tested positive; she is the sister of a person already confirmed to have the virus.

The agency had said in a previous statement on Sunday that the first patient is an adult resident of Manatee County who has not traveled to countries identified for restricted travel by the CDC; the second patient is an adult Hillsborough County resident who had traveled to Italy. Both individuals would continue to “remain isolated until cleared by public health officials,” the Florida Department of Health said.

Georgia

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp confirmed the state’s first two cases of COVID-19 on Monday evening.

Both individuals are residents of Fulton County who live in the same household; one recently returned from Italy and both are isolated at home with mild symptoms, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

“We knew that Georgia would likely have confirmed cases of COVID-19, and we planned for it. The immediate risk of COVID-19 to the general public, however, remains low at this time,” said Dr. Kathleen E. Toomey, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island announced its first COVID-19 “presumptive positive” case on Sunday: a person in their 40s who had traveled to Italy in mid-February.

Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, said in a statement that the agency has been “preparing for weeks” and “fully anticipated having a first case of COVID-19.”

“We are not seeing widespread community transmission in Rhode Island, and the general level of risk for Rhode Islanders is still low,” Alexander-Scott said.

The agency announced a second COVID-19 “presumptive positive case” later the same day: a teenager who is “at home with mild symptoms.” She had been on the “same trip to Europe in mid-February as the male in his 40s,” according to the Rhode Island Department of Health.

“All 38 of the people who went on this trip will be self-monitoring for symptoms at home for 14 days with public health supervision, the department said in a statement. “They have been instructed to not go to school or work and to remain at home for these 14 days.”

Arizona

Arizona confirmed on Tuesday its second “presumed positive” case of COVID-19, in a man in his twenties.

“This individual is a known contact of a presumed positive case outside of Arizona who had traveled to an area with community spread of COVID-19,” the Arizona Department of Health Services news release.

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Arizona by the CDC on Jan. 26. The person had also recently returned to the U.S. after visiting Wuhan. The Arizona Department of Health Services said in a public statement that the person is “a member of the Arizona State University community who does not live in university housing,” and added that they were not severely ill but would be kept in isolation.

The infected man was subsequently released from isolation 26 days after testing positive for COVID-19, according to the Associated Press.

New Hampshire

The state’s first case was announced Monday in a hospital employee who had recently traveled to Italy. Health officials later learned this person broke quarantine to attend a social event on Feb. 28 and said they would contact attendees who “had close contact with the person.”

New Hampshire announced its second “presumed positive” case of COVID-19 on Tuesday. State officials said the person, an adult male from Grafton County, had close contact with the first case and is currently isolated at home.

At this time, there is no evidence of more widespread community transmission in New Hampshire,” said state Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan in a statement after the first case was announced.

New Jersey

On Wednesday, New Jersey announced its first “presumptive positive case” of COVID-19 — a man in his 30s who has been hospitalized in Bergen County.

Health officials maintained that “most New Jersey residents” are still at low-risk.

Massachusetts

On Monday, state health officials announced a presumptive case: a woman who had recently traveled to Italy.

On Feb. 1, the CDC announced that a man in his 20s who lives in Boston was diagnosed with COVID-19; he had recently traveled to Wuhan.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the man sought medical care soon after his return to Boston. He has since been in isolation, and those who came in contact with him have been identified and are being monitored for symptoms, the agency said in a public statement.

“We are grateful that this young man is recovering and sought medical attention immediately,” said Monica Bharel, Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner, in the statement. “Massachusetts has been preparing for a possible case of this new coronavirus, and we were fortunate that astute clinicians took appropriate action quickly. Again, the risk to the public from the 2019 novel coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.”

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the CDC announced the first case of COVID-19 in the state on Feb. 5. The person was only identified as “an adult with a history of travel to Beijing, China prior to becoming ill and was exposed to known cases while in China.”

Wisconsin health officials said in a public statement that the person is isolated at home, and is doing well.

North Carolina

North Carolina announced its first “presumed positive” case of COVID-19 on Tuesday. According to state officials, the person traveled to Washington state and was exposed at a long-term care facility where there is currently a COVID-19 outbreak.

By Jasmine Aguilera , Amy Gunia , Madeleine Carlisle and Sanya Mansoor

Source: 11 People Have Died of Coronavirus in the U.S. and at Least 15 States Have Confirmed Cases

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The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise in the U.S., with six deaths now reported in the country and all of them in Washington state. Abigail Bimman reports on the growing concern over COVID-19 in the U.S. and on frustrations with the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak. For more info, please go to https://globalnews.ca/news/6620409/us… Subscribe to Global News Channel HERE: http://bit.ly/20fcXDc Like Global News on Facebook HERE: http://bit.ly/255GMJQ Follow Global News on Twitter HERE: http://bit.ly/1Toz8mt Follow Global News on Instagram HERE: https://bit.ly/2QZaZIB #coronavirus #CoronavirusOutbreak #Health #DonaldTrump #GlobalNews

Coronavirus Claims Its First Airline Casualty As Britain’s Flybe Folds

Topline: British airline Flybe, which is the leading regional U.K carrier, collapsed after it succumbed to its financial woes and weakened demand because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

  • Flybe’s collapse marks the first airline casualty since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak and puts 2,400 jobs at risk, while it is expected to hamper hit businesses and transport links around its regional British hubs.
  • Passengers have been advised not to go to the airport as flights will not be operating. Flybe said in a statement: “All flights have been grounded and the UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect.”
                       

                       

Today In: Retail
                        

 

  • But its collapse will deal a blow to the British government’s plans to increase transport links between U.K. regions.

Big number: 8 million. That’s how many passengers the airline carries a year.

Key background: Flybe narrowly escaped collapse in January, after being bought by Cyrus Capital, Virgin Atlantic and Stobart last year. Boris Johnson’s government agreed a rescue plan with Flybe’s owner weeks ago, to enable it to repay its $130 million (£100 million) debt, while its owners agreed to pour $38 million (£30 million) into the struggling airline. At the time, Johnson told the BBC: “Be in no doubt that we see the importance of Flybe in delivering connectivity across the whole United Kingdom.” On Thursday, the government said that Flybe’s problems predated the impact of coronavirus.

                      

Chief critics: Pilots’ union BALPA said on Thursday it was “disgusted” at the “betrayal and broken promises” from the government.

General Secretary Brian Strutton said in a statement: “Six weeks ago, when the ownership consortium lost confidence the Government promised a rescue package, apparently at that time recognising the value of Flybe to the regional economy of the UK. Throughout, pilots, cabin crew and ground staff have done their jobs brilliantly, while behind the scenes the owners and, sadly, Government connived to walk away. Flybe staff will feel disgusted at this betrayal and these broken promises.”

News peg: Measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 worldwide—large scale lockdowns, travel restrictions and event cancellations—have put massive strain on the airline industry, which has seen a sharp drop in demand. Major U.S., European and Asian carriers have scrapped flights to hot spots to save costs and to contain the spread of the potentially deadly virus, while airlines including Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic asked staff to take unpaid leave. Airline industry body IATA predicts that the crisis could cost global airlines $30 billion, but with the pneumonia-like virus spreading around the world the total cost could be far higher.

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I am a breaking news reporter for Forbes in London, covering Europe and the U.S. Previously I was a news reporter for HuffPost UK, the Press Association and a night reporter at the Guardian. I studied Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, where I was a writer and editor for one of the university’s global affairs magazines, the London Globalist. That led me to Goldsmiths, University of London, where I completed my M.A. in Journalism. Got a story? Get in touch at isabel.togoh@forbes.com, or follow me on Twitter @bissieness. I look forward to hearing from you.

Source: Coronavirus Claims Its First Airline Casualty As Britain’s Flybe Folds

Europe’s biggest regional carrier fell into administration after ministers rejected a request for a £100m state loan. Europe’s biggest regional carrier fell into administration after ministers rejected a request for a £100m state loan following seven weeks of talks, with shareholders bogged down in an industry-wide crisis caused by the disease and unwilling to help ­either. Read more about Flybe’s collapse: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/… Get the latest headlines: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Telegraph.co.uk and YouTube.com/TelegraphTV are websites of The Telegraph, the UK’s best-selling quality daily newspaper providing news and analysis on UK and world events, business, sport, lifestyle and culture.

No, You Do Not Need Face Masks To Prevent Coronavirus—They Might Increase Your Infection Risk

Community transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has officially begun in the U.S., with two cases in California and one in Oregon of unknown origin. The first COVID death was reported Saturday, Feb. 29, in Seattle. The natural human response to a strange, new disease making its way to a neighborhood near you is to feel anxiety and want to DO SOMETHING. That’s why many people have been buying up and stockpiling masks. But even if you could buy any in the midst of global shortages, should you?

No.

And if you already have masks, should you wear them when you’re out?

No.

Even if there are COVID cases in your community?

Even if there are cases next door, the answer is no, you do NOT need to get or wear any face masks—surgical masks, “N95 masks,” respirator masks, or anything else—to protect yourself against the coronavirus. Not only do you not need them, you shouldn’t wear them, according to infection prevention specialist Eli Perencevich, MD, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Iowa’s College of Medicine.

“The average healthy person does not need to have a mask, and they shouldn’t be wearing masks,” Dr. Perencevich said. “There’s no evidence that wearing masks on healthy people will protect them. They wear them incorrectly, and they can increase the risk of infection because they’re touching their face more often.”

But even if you know what you’re doing and you tie your hands behind your back, you still don’t need to wear a mask.

Only Wear A Mask If You’re Sick

First of all, most people buying masks are not getting one that stops the virus from reaching their mouth or nose anyway. The coronavirus is transmitted through droplets, not through the air. That means you cannot randomly breathe it in, but it also means the standard surgical mask you see people wearing will not help. Those masks are designed to keep droplets in—not to keep them out—and are intended to keep the wearer from getting others sick.

“The one time you would want a mask is if you’re sick and you have to leave the house,” Dr. Perencevich said. “If you have the flu or think you have COVID, that’s when you’d put on a mask to protect others. In your house, if you feel like you’re sick, you should wear a mask to protect your family members.”

ETA 3/1/20: If you are caring for someone with COVID in your home, it is wise to wear a mask when in close proximity to that person, who should also wear a mask, Dr. Perencevich said. Consult a healthcare provider for the correct way to wear and dispose of the mask, or consult this excellent explainer from the World Health Organization. For those concerned about being able to get a mask if you or a household member becomes ill with COVID, the emergency department or clinic where you are diagnosed should them to you. The sick individual should ask for one immediately upon arriving at the healthcare facility.

[ETA 3/1/20: There has been some question about whether this coronavirus is “airborne” and what that means. The virus is not airborne using the scientific definition used for pathogens such as tuberculosis or measles. Droplets might become aerosolized for some viruses, but there is not yet evidence showing that this coronavirus can be breathed in when a nearby infected individual exhales. Most research into this question focuses on influenza, such as this 2018 study suggesting the flu virus can be aerosolized in exhalations without coughing or sneezing. This evidence is preliminary, and it remains an open scientific question whether (and which) droplet-based respiratory viruses are transmitted this way. So far, all documented transmission for COVID cases has involved droplets. ]

What Does Keep The Virus Out?

The type of face covering that reduces exposure to airborne particles—including protecting the wearer from viruses and bacteria—is called a respirator. The type of personal protection equipment (PPE) that healthcare workers wear when treating someone with a serious contagious disease is a medical respirator.

As 3M, a major manufacturer of masks and respirators, explains, medical respirators do both: they protect the wearer from getting sick and protect the patient from the wearer’s germs. That’s where the confusion in terms—using “mask” and “respirator” interchangeably—often comes from. From here on in this article, assume “mask” refers to a respirator.

These medical respirators/masks must have an efficiency rating of “N95,” “FFP2,” or a similar rating that refers to how many particles—and of what size—can’t get through. The CDC has a webpage listing all the approved respirators for personal protection.

Disposable medical respirators can resemble standard surgical masks but must be thrown away after one use because they become contaminated with the particles they’re filtering out. Reusable respirators, which use replaceable filters, are the ones that make you look like a giant insect.

So Why Shouldn’t I Get An N95 Medical Respirator? 

The people who wear medical respirators have received training in how to wear them to protect themselves, such as ensuring the mask forms an airtight seal with their face.

But even then, “no matter how well a respirator seals to the face and how efficient the filter media is, wearers should expect a small amount of leakage inside any respirators,” 3M notes. “No respirator will eliminate exposures entirely.”

Not using—or disposing of—a respirator mask correctly can increase infection risk because it is literally trapping all the stuff in the air you’re trying to avoid, and many people end up touching their face absent-mindedly.

“Wearing a mask is tricky because it can create a false sense of security,” Dr. Perencevich said. “If you don’t wash your hands before you take off the mask and after you take off your mask, you could increase your risk.”

Even if you believe you will be careful enough to wear, use, and dispose of the mask properly, buying these masks in the midst of existing shortages makes it harder for hospitals and healthcare workers who actually need them to get them.

“The most concerning thing is if our healthcare workers are sick and have to stay home, then we lose the doctors and nurses we need to get through this outbreak,” said Dr. Perencevich, who recently tweeted concerns about the “potential crisis” of N95 respirator scarcity.

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, has even pleaded on Twitter, “Seriously people-STOP BUYING MASKS!” Aside from their ineffectiveness in protecting the general public, he said, “if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

Disturbingly, Dr. Perencevich has even heard from colleagues who saw people walking out of hospitals with boxes of masks.

“We really need to get the message out not to take the masks from the hospitals,” he said. “We’ve got to protect our healthcare workers because they’re the ones who are going to take care of us if we get sick.”

Here’s How To Actually Protect Yourself From COVID-19

You’ve heard it over and over, already, but the best way to protect yourself from the coronavirus really, truly, honestly is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water. Karen Fleming, PhD, a professor in biophysics at Johns Hopkins University, explained on Twitter why: “Coronavirus is an ‘enveloped’ virus, which means that it has an outer lipid membrane layer,” an outer layer of fat. “Washing your hands with soap and water has the ability to ‘dissolve’ this greasy fatty layer and kill the virus,” she said.

Wash your hands before and after eating and try to train yourself not to touch your face, “especially your mouth and nose,” Dr. Perencevich said. Also carry around hand sanitizer in case you can’t get to soap and water after touching your face or another germ-laden surface (like doorknobs).

“Just because it’s a respiratory virus doesn’t mean it gets into your body through breathing,” he said. “It can enter when your contaminated hands touch your mouth or face. So wash your hands, and don’t touch your mouth or face without washing your hands first.”

You can also protect yourself through social distancing: If you see someone coughing or sneezing or otherwise looking sick, stay at least three feet away from them since that’s as far as most droplets will travel.

What If I’m Immune-Compromised Or Traveling To Infected Areas?

If you are immune-compromised or otherwise at high risk for complications from coronavirus—which means you’re already at high risk for flu complications—you need to talk to your doctor about whether it’s necessary to wear a medical respirator in public, Dr. Perencevich said. Similarly, if you’re traveling to an area with known widespread transmission, consult a travel clinic. Even in these cases, however, social distancing and washing your hands frequently are your most important and effective protection tools.

Here’s What You SHOULD Do To Prepare For COVID-19

So you shouldn’t be buying masks, but there are things you can do to prepare for an outbreak in your city. First, make sure you have at least 3-4 weeks’ worth of any medications you need “so you don’t have to run out and get it at a certain time,” Dr. Perencevich said.

Similarly, have enough necessities, including food and anything you cannot live without, on hand if school is cancelled for several weeks and the kids are at home. You don’t have to stockpile food, but being prepared for any kind of emergency—not just a disease outbreak but also unexpected severe weather and similar events—means having enough food and water (one gallon per person per day) on hand for three days along with supplies to use in the case of power outages.

A helpful disaster emergency kit list is available online from the Department of Homeland Security, and Kent State epidemiologist Tara C. Smith, PhD, offers great tips on preparing for COVID-19 at Self.

Where Can I Learn More About Medical Respirators And Masks? 

For the technical or science-minded folks out there, it’s certainly possible to jump down a rabbit hole and learn all about the manufacturing and technical specifications of personal protection equipment. Aside from the CDC page already mentioned, super geeks will want to read all the links at 3M’s Worker Health & Safety page on the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak. While 3M is not the only manufacturer, they are a major one with a great deal of helpful, easy-to-read information on the risk of products shipped from China (there isn’t much of one), healthcare alternatives to surgical N95 respirators, an FAQ for those in healthcare and the general public, and how to spot counterfeit products (though this will vary by manufacturer).

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I am a freelance science and multimedia journalist who specializes in reporting on vaccines, pediatric and maternal health, parenting, public health, mental health, medical research, and the social sciences. My work has appeared in The New York Times, NPR, Scientific American, Medscape, Self, the Washington Post, Politico, Everyday Health, Slate, Frontline Medical Communications and elsewhere. I coauthored The Informed Parent: An Evidence-Based Resource for Your Child’s First Four Years with Emily Willingham. I also recently published Vaccination Investigation: The History and Science of Vaccines and have written several science books for children. I regularly blog at my evidence-based parenting blog Red Wine & Applesauce and at the Association of Health Care Journalists, and I’ve delivered a TEDx Oslo talk on why parents fear vaccines. I received my master’s in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin (also my undergrad alma mater). I previously taught at Bradley University and in Texas high schools, and I often think of my journalism as a form of teaching, by helping others understand science and medical research and by debunking misinformation about vaccines, chemicals and other misunderstood topics.

Source: No, You Do Not Need Face Masks To Prevent Coronavirus—They Might Increase Your Infection Risk

Wearing a medical mask can help limit the spread of some respiratory diseases. However, using a mask alone is not guaranteed to stop infections. Their use should be combined with other preventive measures. Watch this short video to find out more. For more information, please visit : https://www.who.int/emergencies/disea…

First U.S. COVID-19 Death Thought to Be Community Transmission. Washington Governor Declares State of Emergency

On Saturday, Washington State officials announced that one person had died from the coronavirus, officially called COVID-19, in King County, marking the first death from the disease in the U.S.

Health officials say the man was in his 50s and had no known history or travel or contact with a known COVID-19 case, suggesting he was infected by a human-to-human transmission in the general public, often referred to as a community transmission.

Officials also announced two other presumptive cases in King County, each linked to the LifeCare nursing home in Kirkland, Wash. Neither patient had reportedly traveled outside the U.S. At a press conference on Saturday, Dr. Jeff Duchin, the health officer for public health of Seattle and King County said officials believe all three cases are cases of community transmission and were acquired in King County.

Officials are monitoring the nursing home and believe it is at risk for a possible outbreak of the virus. Officials added that they do not believe the man who died was connected to the nursing home.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Saturday in response to the new cases, and directed state agencies to use “all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.”

King County health officials said the man who died was in his 50s and was “a chronically ill person,” with “underlying risk factors for severe disease.” They said he died at EvergreenHealth Hospital.

In a press conference with the coronavirus task force on Saturday, President Donald Trump misidentified the patient who died as a “wonderful woman.

Officials also announced details about the two cases connected to LifeCare nursing home. One patient is a healthcare worker in her 40s, who also had no known travel outside of the United States. Officials said she is in satisfactory condition. The second is a woman in her 70s who is a resident at LifeCare nursing facility, who is in serious condition at EvergreenHealth Hospital.

Officials said over 50 individuals at LifeCare who are reportedly experiencing respiratory problems are being tested for COVID-19 and said “additional positive cases” are expected. At the press conference, Duchin said officials are “investigating the situation as an outbreak.” He added that the CDC is sending a team of epidemiologists to King County to help identify any possible new cases.

Duchin added that officials believe the patients contracted the virus before being admitted to EvergreenHealth Hospital, and do not presently believe the two patients at LifeCare and the man who died were connected to one and other.

The first known case of the coronavirus in King County had only been announced the day before on Friday: A woman in her 50s who had recently traveled to Daegnu, South Korea.

According to Washington State Department of Health, two people have also tested positive for the virus in Snohomish County, bringing the total number of cases in the state up to six. Thirty-seven people in Washington State have been tested for the virus so far, and 294 people are under public health supervision, according to the official.

The announcement comes after news broke that a California patient was thought to be the first possible human-to-human transmission in the general public. California officials announced a second possible community transmission on Friday, although Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for Santa Clara County and Director of the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department said in a statement, “the extent is still not clear.”

On Friday, Oregon health officials also announced the state’s first case of COVID-19 was believed to be a community transmission.

The U.S. has 68 confirmed cases of the virus. Besides the six suspected cases of community transmission, all of the other infected people had either traveled overseas or had been in close contact with those who traveled. The virus has transmitted from human to human in cases in Chicago and San Benito County, Calif., but in both cases, the infected person had close, prolonged contact with family members who had returned from Wuhan, China and had tested positive for the virus.

A CDC flowchart for assessing possible coronavirus cases as of Feb. 12 indicates that a patient must have either visited China, or had close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 within the last 14 days, in order for their possible exposure to the virus to be evaluated.

As of Feb. 26 the CDC had administered 445 coronavirus tests—not including those given to Americans brought back to the U.S. from Wuhan or the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Concerns over a shortage in tests to properly diagnose the novel coronavirus have prompted some states to take action. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said more than 8,400 people in the state are being monitored for the virus, and called for an expansion of the ability to conduct tests on people to detect the infection during a news conference on Feb. 27.

California is now working with the CDC to get access to more tests, Newsom said, adding that the state has “just a few hundred” testing kits, which he said was “simply inadequate.”

“We are not overreacting nor are we underreacting to the understandable anxiety many people have,” he said.

Health officials in New York state said they are developing their own test after encountering issues with tests provided by the CDC, according to reports in ABC 7 and BuzzFeed News.

Elsewhere in the U.S., 42 Americans evacuated from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess in Japan were confirmed to have the virus as of Wednesday.

CDC spokesperson Richard Quartarone tells TIME the patients are either at hospitals in Sacramento and San Antonio, or at the Nebraska Medical Center.

More than 300 American evacuees were flown out of Japan to air bases in Texas and California.

So far, cases have been diagnosed in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Texas. Globally, more than 82,000 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed or clinically confirmed as of Feb. 21 and some 2,800 people have died, according to a virus tracker from researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The vast majority of cases are in China, but diagnoses in the U.S. are expected to increase over the coming days and weeks, according to the CDC.

Cruise ship evacuees

On Feb. 17, the U.S. State Department evacuated more than 300 American citizens from a quarantined cruise ship in Japan. The Diamond Princess has the largest outbreak of the novel coronavirus outside China with at least 621 confirmed cases so far.

During the evacuation process, American officials learned that 14 of the more than 300 Americans who were to be flown back were infected with COVID-19 after being tested two to three days earlier, according to a joint statement from the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. After consulting with HHS, officials with the State Department decided to allow the 14 individuals, “who were in isolation, separated from other passengers, and continued to be asymptomatic, to remain on the aircraft to complete the evacuation process,” the statement said.

The evacuees who are not hospitalized were being held in quarantine for 14 days after departing planes at Travis Air Force Base in Sacramento, Calif. and Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, officials said.

The CDC said there are more than 100 American citizens who remained in Japan, including in hospitals. The CDC specified that these citizens will only be allowed to fly back to the U.S. if they test negative for and don’t show any symptoms of the virus during the 14-day period.

“If an individual from this cruise arrives in the United States before the 14-day period ends, they will still be subject to a mandatory quarantine until they have completed the 14-day period with no symptoms or positive coronavirus test results,” the CDC said.

The CDC also highlighted concerns with the quarantine process on board the ship, saying that it may have slowed the spread of the disease but that it “may not have been sufficient to prevent transmission among individuals on the ship.”

Washington

On Saturday, Washington State officials announced that one person had died from COVID-19 in King County, marking the first death from the disease in the U.S.

Health officials say the man was in his 50s and had no known history or travel or contact with a known COVID-19 case, suggesting he was infected by a human-to-human transmission in the general public, often referred to as a community transmission.

Officials also announced two other presumptive cases in King County, each linked to the LifeCare nursing home in Kirkland, Wash. Neither patient had reportedly traveled outside the U.S. At a press conference on Saturday, Dr. Jeff Duchin, the health officer for public health of Seattle and King County said officials believe all three cases are cases of community transmission and were acquired in King County.

Officials are monitoring the nursing home and believe it is at risk for a possible outbreak of the virus. Officials added that they do not believe the man who died was connected to the nursing home.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Saturday in response to the new cases, and directed state agencies to use “all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.”

King County health officials said the man who died was in his 50s and was “a chronically ill person,” with “underlying risk factors for severe disease.” They said he died at EvergreenHealth Hospital.

Officials also announced details about the two cases connected to LifeCare nursing home. One patient is a healthcare worker in her 40s, who also had no known travel outside of the United States. Officials said she is in satisfactory condition. The second is a woman in her 70s who is a resident at LifeCare nursing facility, who is in serious condition at EvergreenHealth Hospital.

Officials said over 50 individuals at LifeCare who are reportedly experiencing respiratory problems are being tested for COVID-19 and said “additional positive cases” are expected. At the press conference Duchin said officials are “investigating the situation as an outbreak.” He added that the CDC is sending a team of epidemiologists to King County to help identify any possible new cases.

Duchin added that officials believe the patients contracted the virus before being admitted to EvergreenHealth Hospital, and do not presently believe the two patients at LifeCare and the man who died were connected to one and other.

The first known case of the coronavirus in King County had only been announced the day before on Friday: A woman in her 50s who had recently traveled to Daegnu, South Korea.

According to Washington State Department of Health, two people have also tested positive for the virus in Snohomish County, bringing the total number of cases in the state up to six. Thirty-seven people in Washington State have been tested for the virus so far, and 294 people are under public health supervision, according to the official.

The first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. appeared in Washington on Jan. 21. A 35-year-old man presented himself to an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, Wash., after four days of cough and fever, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, which reported that he had recently been visiting family in Wuhan.

“The patient should be recognized for his decision to voluntarily isolate himself, seek proper medical care, and allow the details of his private medical treatment to be made public so that the world may learn from his case, and advance our understanding of novel coronavirus,” the Washington State Department of Health said in a public statement on Jan. 31.

The man was released from a Washington hospital on Feb. 4, according to the Associated Press.

“I am at home and continuing to get better,” the man said in a statement to the AP. “I appreciate all of the concern expressed by members of the public, and I look forward to returning to my normal life.”

Arizona

A single case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Arizona by the CDC on Jan. 26. The person had also recently returned to the U.S. after visiting Wuhan. The Arizona Department of Health Services said in a public statement that the person is “a member of the Arizona State University community who does not live in university housing,” and added that they were not severely ill but would be kept in isolation.

California

On Wednesday news broke that a California coronavirus patient was not tested for the deadly disease for four days—despite the hospital asking federal health authorities for a test.

The patient at the University of California-Davis Medical Center, who is a resident of Solano County, was the first U.S. case of possible human-to-human transmission in the general public—raising fears that the virus might be spreading in the country. It also raised questions about how prepared the U.S. health system is for a possible outbreak.

The California coronavirus patient was not tested for the deadly disease for four days — despite the hospital asking federal health authorities for a test. The patient is at the University of California-Davis Medical Center and is a resident of Solano County.

California officials announced a second possible community transmission on Friday, although Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for Santa Clara County and Director of the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department said in a statement, “the extent is still not clear.”

The first confirmed cases in the state were announced by the CDC on Jan. 26; the two patients had recently returned to the U.S. from Wuhan.

On Jan. 29, the State Department announced a flight carrying 195 evacuees from Wuhan landed at the March Air Reserve Base in southern California. Later, on Feb. 5, the CDC announced 14-day quarantine sites at the Travis Air Force Base in Sacramento, Calif. and the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif., where more evacuees from Wuhan would be placed.

Two people who were quarantined at Miramar have since been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are now in isolation at the University of San Diego Health. A third person has been placed under investigation after developing symptoms that warrant testing, the hospital announced on Feb. 12.

Orange County and San Francisco have both declared states of emergency over the virus.

Illinois

The first case in Illinois was a woman in her 60s who had returned to the U.S. from Wuhan on Jan. 13, health officials said at a press briefing on Jan. 30. Her husband then contracted the virus, becoming the first confirmed case of person-to-person transfer of the virus in the U.S.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Feb. 12 that it became the first state in the U.S. to begin in-state testing for the virus.

Massachusetts

On Feb. 1, the CDC announced that a man in his 20s who lives in Boston was diagnosed with COVID-19, making him the eighth confirmed case in the U.S. He had also recently traveled to Wuhan.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the man sought medical care soon after his return to Boston. He has since been in isolation, and those who came in contact with him have been identified and are being monitored for symptoms, the agency said in a public statement.

“We are grateful that this young man is recovering and sought medical attention immediately,” said Monica Bharel, Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner, in the statement. “Massachusetts has been preparing for a possible case of this new coronavirus, and we were fortunate that astute clinicians took appropriate action quickly. Again, the risk to the public from the 2019 novel coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.”

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the CDC announced the first case of COVID-19 in the state on Feb. 5. The person was only identified as “an adult with a history of travel to Beijing, China prior to becoming ill and was exposed to known cases while in China.”

Wisconsin health officials said in a public statement that the person is isolated at home, and is doing well.

Texas

The first person diagnosed with COVID-19 in Texas is currently in isolation. The name of the individual has also not been released, but Jennifer McQuiston, a CDC division deputy director and current team lead at the JBSA-Lackland quarantine, told reporters at a Feb. 13 press conference that the person was a solo traveler.

Two additional Diamond Princess passengers are also in isolation in Texas as of Feb. 21, after they were determined to have the virus. The patients are being held at the Texas Center for Infectious Disease hospital, according to a public statement by the City of San Antonio.

The City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and the CDC announced Feb. 13 that the first person diagnosed was one of the Americans evacuated from Wuhan and transported to the military base on Feb. 7, after leaving Wuhan the previous day. There are currently 91 evacuees in a 14-day quarantine at the JBSA-Lackland military base, one of four designated quarantine sites for the roughly 800 Americans who have been evacuated from Wuhan.

On the morning of Feb. 11, the patient exhibited signs of a fever, McQuiston said. The person was transported to a hospital that morning, where samples were gathered and sent to the CDC overnight. Officials received the positive diagnosis around 6 p.m. on Feb. 12. “[That patient is] receiving excellent medical care,” McQuiston said at the Feb. 13 press conference. “They were, of course, not happy to learn of their diagnosis last night, and they do have loved ones in the United States that they are in contact with by phone, and we wish this individual well.”

Dr. Anita Kurian, assistant director at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, also said at the press conference that “the risk for us at this time to the community here is still considered low.”

Of the estimated 400 Americans aboard the Diamond Princess, 151 landed at the Lackland Air Force Base on the morning of Feb. 17. Of those, 144 asymptomatic Americans were assessed and transported to Lackland quarantine, according to the City of San Antonio.

The individuals who remain in quarantine are being monitored for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

By Jasmine Aguilera , Amy Gunia , Madeleine Carlisle and Sanya Mansoor

Source: First U.S. COVID-19 Death Thought to Be Community Transmission. Washington Governor Declares State of Emergency

The US has confirmed its first possible community transmission of COVID-19. The patient, who lives in California, has no known links to other cases or travel history to China. That brings the total number of infections in the US to 60, with most of them catching the virus outside the country. Subscribe to our channel here: https://cna.asia/youtubesub Subscribe to our news service on Telegram: https://cna.asia/telegram Follow us: CNA: https://cna.asia CNA Lifestyle: http://www.cnalifestyle.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/channelnewsasia Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/channelnews… Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/channelnewsasia

Markets Slide As Europe Scrambles To Contain The Coronavirus

Topline: The growing outbreak of the coronavirus in Italy has been linked with new cases of the pneumonia-like virus in three neighboring European countries, and in Brazil, the first time Covid-19 has been detected in Latin America.

  • The 108-room Grand Hotel Europa in the Austrian ski town of Innsbruck is on lockdown after an Italian couple contracted the virus when they visited Italy’s Lombardy region, which is at the centre of the Italian outbreak. The woman works as a receptionist at the hotel.
  • In Switzerland, a man in his 70s was placed in isolation after testing positive for the illness in Lugano, the southern, Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. He is believed to have contracted the virus during an event in Milan earlier this month.
  • Croatia is the first Balkan country to report a case, after a man who recently travelled from Milan showed milder symptoms of the illness, the country’s health minister said.
  • European stocks slid further on Wednesday, with the continent’s Stoxx 600 down 2% on Wednesday morning. Germany’s Dax 30, France’s CAC 40 and London’s FTSE 100 are also down.
  • Coronavirus has now jumped to Latin America and Africa with two people who recently travelled from Italy to Brazil and Algeria testing positive for the coronavirus.
  • The U.S. military has also reported its first case, a 23-year-old man based in South Korea who had recently travelled to a military camp in Daegu, the Korean city at the centre of the country’s outbreak. The U.S has around 28,500 troops garrisoned in South Korea and the risk level remains high, the New York Times reports.

Crucial comment: Oliver Baete, CEO of Europe biggest insurer Allianz, has said the markets overreacting to coronavirus is unwarranted. “It’s not like the world will end tomorrow,” he told Bloomberg.

Elsewhere around the world: Spain – 1,000 guests at a hotel in Spain’s canary islands has been on lockdown since Monday, with four people now testing positive for the virus, while the first case on the Spanish mainland was confirmed in Catalonia earlier this week.

Italy – At least 325 cases and 11 deaths have been recorded, while northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto remain on lockdown and new cases have now been reported in Rome. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said: “We need to stop the panic.”

South Korea – More than 900 cases have now been reported in the largest cluster of cases outside mainland China, with more than half of cases linked to a Christian church sect.

China – Some 78,000 people have been infected and 2,700 people have died in the country at the centre of the outbreak.

U.K. – Thirteen people have tested positive for the virus, some of which were aboard the Diamond Princess.

France – Fourteen people are infected, while one has died and 11 have recovered.

Additional fact: Hong Kong has handed $1,280 to every adult permanent resident in a bid to stimulate its flagging economy which has been weighed down by months of protests, and the coronavirus.

Key background:The coronavirus crisis has now entered a new global phase after attempts to contain the outbreak in China failed despite unprecedented quarantine measures and travel restrictions that severely impacted the world’s second largest economy. More than 80,000 people worldwide, mostly in China, have been infected with the pneumonia-like virus and businesses around the world are taking stock of the prospect of further disruption in major economies like Italy and South Korea, or a global pandemic. Airlines, travel and luxury stocks have been some of the most impacted by this week’s sell-off as investors pivot to safe-haven assets. Scientists are scrambling to find a vaccine, with the the World Health Organization coordinating the efforts. The illness has also impacted Japan’s corporate culture, with thousands of employees being asked to work from home there.

Tangent: Some 300 workers at the Chevron offices in London’s Canary Wharf financial district were told to work from home after a worker presented with flu-like symptoms and is being tested for coronavirus.

Further reading: Here’s Every State And Country With A Confirmed Coronavirus Case (Lisette Voytko)

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I am a breaking news reporter for Forbes in London, covering Europe and the U.S. Previously I was a news reporter for HuffPost UK, the Press Association and a night reporter at the Guardian. I studied Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, where I was a writer and editor for one of the university’s global affairs magazines, the London Globalist. That led me to Goldsmiths, University of London, where I completed my M.A. in Journalism. Got a story? Get in touch at isabel.togoh@forbes.com, or follow me on Twitter @bissieness. I look forward to hearing from you.

Source: Markets Slide As Europe Scrambles To Contain The Coronavirus

Authorities across Europe are trying to contain the spread of coronavirus by hunting down those who came into contact with infected people.… READ MORE : https://www.euronews.com/2020/02/09/a… Subscribe to our channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/euronews?su… Watch our LIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/c/euronews/live #Coronavirus #CoronavirusOutbreakEurope

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