(NEW YORK) — The global death toll of coronavirus has reached nearly 3,000 people as countries around the world continue to report their findings to the World Health Organization.
At least 70 cases and one death have been detected in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here is how the situation is unfolding (all times eastern):
10:12 a.m. 1st presumptive case of coronavirus detected in Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Department of Health has announced the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus in the state.
The patient is in his or her 40s and had traveled to Italy in mid-February and had limited travel within the state — and not returned to work — since arriving back in the U.S., according to the health agency.
All infection protocols are being followed at the hospital where the patient is being treated.
“The Rhode Island Department of Health has been preparing for weeks to ensure that we have a structure in place to, to the best of our ability, limit or prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Rhode Island. We fully anticipated having a first case of COVID-19,” said Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, in a statement. “We are not seeing widespread community transmission in Rhode Island, and the general level of risk for Rhode Islanders is still low. However, everyone in Rhode Island has a role to play in helping us prevent the spread of viruses, just like the flu. It is very important that people wash their hands regularly, cover their coughs and sneezes, and stay home if they are sick.”
9:19 a.m. U.S. Surgeon General releases information to “stop the spread of rumors”
The U.S. Surgeon General has released a thread of information on Twitter to prevent the spread of misinformation on the coronavirus.
The first issue the agency tackled was the apparent racism against Asian Americans that has been spreading as a result of the virus.
“Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity,” the tweet read. “People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get COVID19 than any other American.”
The Surgeon General also said that while the disease is serious, immediate health risk to the general public is “considered low” and reminded people to know the signs and symptoms of the virus as well as the steps to take to keep you and those around you safe.
One death has been recorded in the U.S. after a man in his 50s succumbed to the virus in Washington State, officials announced on Saturday.
Washington state is also looking into a number of illnesses at a long-term care facility, health officials said.
There have been 87,138 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in at least 60 countries and 2,980 deaths, according to the latest figures released by WHO.
Symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to pneumonia, and can range from mild symptoms, like a slight cough, to more severe symptoms, including fever and difficulty breathing, according to the CDC.
The first cases of COVID-19 were believed to be linked to a live-animal market in China, but the virus has since been spreading from person to person — likely within close contact of at least 6 feet.
The CDC doesn’t currently recommend any healthy person wear a face mask, as fiddling with the mask could risk more exposure of hands to the face.
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