Coronavirus has been a growing global concern since December last year after it breached China’s borders and led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic. Scientists are now racing against the clock to find a cure for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as more than 258,000 people have died as of May 6, with the number rising by the hour.
Coronavirus researchers at Johns Hopkins University in the US have created a live map of the virus, which allows you to track the epidemic in real-time.
The map tracks COVID-19 using data from the WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and others.
Around the world, total confirmed coronavirus cases have now surpassed 3.7 million – impacting every corner of the globe.
The number of dead from the disease has also exceeded 258,000.
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The US now appears to be the epicentre of the disease with cases skyrocketing in recent week.
More than 1.2 million people have been confirmed infected in the States, more than the second-highest on the list, Spain, which has more than 250,000 confirmed cases, with lockdown restrictions slightly eased in the Spanish country.
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Despite the US seeing the most cases and deaths, US President Donald Trump has deflected criticism by blaming the World Health Organization (WHO) for its response and has withdrawn funding for the organisation.
In the UK there are now more than 190,000 confirmed cases, resulting in more than 29,400 deaths – the figure the Government’s chief scientist Sir Patrick Vallance once said would represent a “good outcome” – and ranking the UK as the most deaths in Europe from the virus
England’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said life in the UK might not return to normal for up to six months.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO chief said on April 22: “Most countries are still in the early stages of their epidemics.
“And some that were affected early in the pandemic are now starting to see a resurgence in cases.
We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General
“Make no mistake: we have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time.”
He said most of the epidemics in western Europe appeared to be stable or declining.
However, he said: “Although numbers are low, we see worrying upward trends in Africa, Central and South America, and eastern Europe.”
The WHO qualified the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, which triggered a wave of restrictive measures in several countries around the world.
The WHO then said Iran and Italy were the new front lines of the battle against the virus which started in China.
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Dr Mike Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies chief said: “They’re suffering but I guarantee you other countries will be in that situation soon.”
Lauren Gardner, a civil engineering professor at Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, who helped to create the live map, said: “We built this dashboard because we think it is important for the public to have an understanding of the outbreak situation as it unfolds with transparent data sources.
“For the research community, this data will become more valuable as we continue to collect it over time.”
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses which include the likes of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Symptoms of COVID-19 are generally flu-like, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listing the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- A general feeling of being unwell
The CDC said: “Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
“This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults.”
The WHO also said: “The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.
“Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
“Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.
“Most people – about 80 percent – recover from the disease without needing special treatment.”
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