Coronavirus cases top 80,000 worldwide: Live updates on COVID-19

From Live Science:

A newly identified coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (formerly 2019-nCoV) has been spreading in China, and has now reached multiple other countries. Here’s what you need to know about the virus and the disease it causes, called COVID-19.

Update on Wednesday, Feb. 26 (ET): 

The first clinical trial in the U.S. to evaluate a treatment for COVID-19 has begun, according to the NIH. The trial will test an antiviral drug called remdesivir in hospitalized adults with COVID-19. The first study participant is an American who caught the disease while onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and is being treated at University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). 

—In just days, cases of coronavirus in South Korea have skyrocketed to about 1,261, with 12 deaths there linked to the virus. Many of the cases are members of, or somehow linked to, a secret religious sect called Shincheonji Church of Jesus, The New York Times reported. 

Outbreaks of COVID-19 have also been unfolding in Italy and Iran; 322 confirmed cases have been reported in Italy, where 10 deaths have been linked to the virus, and 139 cases have been reported in Iran, where 19 individuals have died. Iran’s Deputy Health Minister has also tested positive for the virus, the Times reported. 

—About 81,187 confirmed coronavirus cases (primarily in mainland China), according to the Johns Hopkins virus dashboard.  

—2,768 deaths have been linked to the virus. Deaths worldwide exceed those from SARS. 27,840 individuals have recovered after having a confirmed case of the disease. 

—About 53 deaths have been linked to the virus outside of mainland China, including in Italy, Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Iran, France and four Diamond Princess passengers.   

—The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting COVID-19 is up to 20 times more deadly than the flu, with a fatality rate of about 2.3% (in the U.S., seasonal flu’s fatality rate is about 0.1%), the Times reports.

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