5 March 2020 Blog Post: Coronavirus Update Morning
As of this writing there are now 96,890 worldwide cases with 3,305 deaths (this is the source of the World Health Organization (WHO) cited 3.4% mortality rate). There have been 53,638 confirmed recoveries. In the United States there are 164 confirmed cases with 11 deaths and 8 total recoveries.
Testing in the United States has lagged far behind other countries, the reasons for which I have covered previously. As of March 4th, 1,526 patients had been tested at CDC (this does not include testing being done at state and local public health laboratories as these data are neither aggregated nor reported by the CDC). There is no available testing in the following states: Wyoming, Oklahoma, Alabama, Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia.
This is in stark contrast to South Korea who has had a coordinated and massive response to coronavirus. In a short space of time, South Korea has managed to test more than 140,000 people for the novel coronavirus, using kits with sensitivity rates of over 95%. The country’s total caseload, which is the largest in the world outside China, has reached 5,621, with a total of 32 deaths (0.6% morality rate). However, the country reported its lowest number of new cases for a week so these efforts may be taking hold. I remain most impressed by their novel ‘drive through’ testing facilities. See link
Shutting down schools is one public health containment measure that has already been employed by Japan where schools are closed until at least April. In Italy, the government has ordered all schools, universities and daycare facilities nationwide to close for 10 days, starting today. We are beginning to see the same in the United States. On Monday, at least a dozen schools in the greater Seattle area canceled classes and on Tuesday, at least two New York high schools announced they had as well. The best explanation for closing schools comes from Giovanni Rezza, who heads the infectious-disease department at Italy’s National Health Institute. He states, “Children could amplify the epidemic, and carry the disease to their grandparents. Paradoxically, school closures help protect the elderly.”
With Los Angeles County declaring a local and public health emergency in response the six new cases, I would anticipate that school closures are not far behind. LA County Public Health stated that none of the new cases are from community spread, and all of these new cases were exposed to COVID-19 through close contacts.
𝗦𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗨𝗽 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗡𝗲𝘄𝘀𝗹𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿
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