By Cedric Sam, Chloe Whiteaker, Hannah Recht and Demetrios Pogkas
South KoreaCases: 4,212
China first reported the outbreak
While the virus is deadly for some, many who have it experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, making it much harder to detect and contain. More than 70 governments have responded by banning entry to travelers who have been to affected regions, barring flights to certain countries and changing visa requirements, according to data compiled by the International Air Transport Association. The restrictions and virus fears have hit the airline industry particularly hard, with many suspending multiple routes and thousands of employees being laid off or placed on unpaid leave.
Much is still unknown about the virus, but about 2% of Chinese patients with confirmed cases have died. Some researchers estimate the mortality rate will be closer to 1% once all cases are counted. Covid-19 appears to be deadlier than seasonal influenza, but far less deadly than SARS, MERS or Ebola.
On Feb. 12, Hubei officials began including patients who were diagnosed with CT lung scans absent a nucleic acid test, resulting in a jump of nearly 15,000 more cases. According to the WHO, most of those cases were days or weeks old. The methodology has been revised several times since then.
While the worst may be over for China, the rest of the world is trying to prepare. New cases in other countries surpassed those reported in China for the first time on Feb. 27. Shortages of face masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies are now spreading as far as New York City, where there’s yet to be a single confirmed case, as residents prepare for the worst.