The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) started in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, in China in the last month of 2019 and had so far spread to more than 100 countries, including the United States. The country has seen a sharp spike in confirmed cases, which now totals 1,220, trailing behind hotspot countries that have thousands of confirmed cases of the contagious disease.
China has the highest number of infections, with more than 80,921 people sickened by the virus. Italy, Iran, and South Korea followed with 12,462, 9,000, and 7,755 cases, respectively.
Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 - Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID
New York grapples with coronavirus
Multiple U.S. states have declared a state of emergency to help free up resources in the battle against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
New York has so far 212 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, next to Washington, D.C. with 366 cases.
New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo announced that government officials implemented a containment area in New Rochelle, a one-mile radius. The state government has shut down schools, temples, churches, and other gathering places for two weeks in the area.
More than 100 cases are reported in Westchester County, associated with an Orthodox Jewish community where a lawyer caught the virus and became the first case of the region.
Further, the National Guard will be asked to help clean facilities and deliver food to the area. The containment area includes much of New Rochelle, including some parts into the town of Eastchester. The region is the largest cluster of cases in the country.
New York City has 48 confirmed cases of the virus, but in the containment area in New Rochelle, there are nearly three times as many cases. The area is home to 77,000 people, and currently, about 1,000 people tied to the temple are now in quarantine.
Death toll rises
In the U.S., the death toll had increased to 37, when a South Dakota man succumbed to the complications of the viral disease. The area has five presumptive cases, including one who has died.
“We have one person that has passed away that had underlying medical conditions, and we will continue to wait for a medical examination to see if the virus had anything to do with that — although we do not have confirmation that that is the reason that the patient is deceased," Governor Kristi Noem said.
The Governor added that the five cases are not in any single community, and these were the first cases for the region. The cases were presumptive because local testing had positive results, but it needs confirmation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that people with mild cases recover in about two weeks, while others may be asymptomatic. On the other hand, in severe cases, the disease may last three to six weeks.
The coronavirus may be dangerous for the elderly, those who are above 60 years old, and those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, lung disease, and heart disease. It is the most critical time to protect those in nursing homes by stopping social visits. Nursing home visitors should be screened, and only the necessary appointments will be made.