Coronavirus Spreads Outside Asia


By Naila Dasilva, Staff Writer

The fast-spreading Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has caused more than 2,800 deaths as of Wednesday, February 26  since the beginning of the outbreak back in December. There have been a total of over 82,000 cases recorded including those who have recovered and those who have passed from COVID-19.

According to the World Health Organization, there have been another 1,073 confirmed cases in 47 countries and an additional eight deaths outside of China. 

The first community spread case of the virus popped up in California earlier this week. The patient had not traveled outside the country recently and was found to have not come into contact with anyone who had traveled outside California. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, spoke about the possibility of an outbreak in the U.S.have been noticed throughout Asia including a church where many were led back to.

“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have a severe illness,” said Dr.Messonnier.

On Wednesday, President Donald J. Trump appointed Vice President Michael Pence in charge of a task force to combat the spread of the disease.

“I know full well the importance of presidential leadership, the importance of administration leadership and the vital role of partnerships of state and local governments and health authorities in responding to the potential threat of dangerous infectious diseases,” VP Pence said at a White House press briefing on Wednesday Feb. 26.

Doctors have grown more worried over the virus since new “clusters” of the disease have popped up in different parts of Asia. Clusters are people who have attended the same place and then recently were diagnosed with the disease. China reported a total of 889 cases last Friday from the previous 24 hours, including 200 from a single prison. Similar occurrences

The highest number of cases outside of China is currently South Korea with 1,595 people infected. 

Italy has been hit with the greatest outbreak of the virus in Europe with over 400 cases and 12  deaths. More than 50,000 residents in Lombardy and Veneto have been placed on lockdown and at least two cases have also been reported in Tuscany and Sicily.

Brazil reported its first case of the virus on Wednesday, making it the first Latin American country to report a case of the virus. The patient was a 61-year old male who had recently traveled to Lombardy, Italy, an area with increasing cases of the virus. As of Thursday morning, February 27th, there are 20 cases in Brazil, 12 are linked to a recent trip to Italy. 

There are 220 reported cases of the virus in the Middle East, at least 140 of them are from Iran. Iran’s death toll has risen to 22 and many public gatherings have been canceled.