As of Monday morning, more than 560 people have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus in dozens of states in the U.S. and 22 deaths have been confirmed in the country in connection with the disease it causes, COVID-19.
The U.S. deaths have been reported in Washington state, California and Florida.
Worldwide, over 111,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported with nearly 3,900 deaths. A majority of those cases were in mainland China, where the virus was first detected.
Those numbers, reported by Johns Hopkins, are expected to rise as the virus continues to spread.
The outbreak has been declared a “public health emergency” by the World Health Organization.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the virus is spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another, or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
There are people who are at a higher risk of getting very sick with COVID-19. The CDC says older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, are at a high risk.
If you’re at a higher risk, the CDC says to stock up on supplies, take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others, wash your hands often, and avoid crowds.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. They may appear two to 14 days after exposure, according to CDC. Call your doctor if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or you’ve recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of the disease.
The CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
· Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
· Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
· Staying home when you are sick
· Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash
· Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
· Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; or if soap and water isn’t readily available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol