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It’s Official. The World Has Surpassed 50 Million Confirmed Coronavirus Cases

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There are over 50 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

With about 10 million cases, the United States is the country with the most confirmed coronavirus cases, followed immediately by India and Brazil. At least 230,000 people have died from the disease in the United States.

 

The World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11.

The coronavirus has killed more Americans than every war US troops have died in since 1945 combined, Business Insider’s John Haltiwanger reported. The leading cause of death for Americans, heart disease, typically kills fewer than 650,000 people a year in the US.

The pandemic has created uncertainty and instability, leading to roiled marketsshuttering many small businesses nationwide, and forcing the world to adapt to a new normal.

For nearly nine months, people have been learning to live under once unfamiliar laws and recommendations from health officials. Quarantining, practicing social distancing, and wearing masks have become the relative norm in most countries.

But as the numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise, health officials say practices will remain the new norm well into 2021 and possibly 2022.

Meanwhile, scientists and pharmaceutical companies have been racing to create a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

But it will take more time to release safe and effective shots – and even longer to inoculate enough of the global population to achieve herd immunity.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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Heart Abnormalities Found in COVID-19 Patients Mean Scans Are Vital, Scientists Say

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More than half of coronavirus patients who received a heart scan in hospitals demonstrated “abnormalities” in their heart function, according to a major new study. It adds to growing evidence that COVID-19 causes unusually excessive blood-clotting, which can damage organs throughout the body.

 

The new research based on data from 69 countries, published in the European Heart Journal and commissioned by the British Heart Foundation, found that 55 percent of 1,261 patients scanned had abnormally functioning hearts.

Around one in seven patients who were scanned showed “severe abnormalities” which were likely to have a significant impact on their chances of survival and recovery.

A majority – 901 patients – of those with abnormally functioning hearts had not demonstrated heart problems before, leading the authors of the report to conclude that the coronavirus is responsible for causing heart problems.

The study, carried out by researchers at the British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence at the University of Edinburgh, emphasised that the study was limited only to people who doctors had cause to believe had heart abnormalities in the first place.

The new findings are significant because they add to a growing field of evidence that suggest coronavirus damages not only the heart but also other major organs, which seems to stem from blood-clotting.

growing body of evidence has charted unusual blood-clotting in COVID-19 patients, leading to strokes, heart failure, pulmonary embolisms, and ‘COVID toes‘. The finding offered a possible explanation as to why there has been a higher rate of death from COVID-19 among people with underlying heart conditions.

 

The heart has to work harder in coronavirus patients because the virus causes inflammation and fluid build-up in the lungs,  The Guardian reported. That can cause the heart either to fail or for its tissue to become damaged, while in some cases the virus can infect the muscle tissue directly.

Marc Dweck, a consultant cardiologist at the University of Edinburgh who helped lead the research said, “COVID-19 is a complex, multisystem disease which can have profound effects on many parts of the body, including the heart. Many doctors have been hesitant to order echocardiograms for patients with COVID-19 because it’s an added procedure which involves close contact with patients. Our work shows that these scans are important – they improved the treatment for a third of patients who received them.”

“Damage to the heart is known to occur in severe flu, but we were surprised to see so many patients with damage to their heart with COVID-19 and so many patients with severe dysfunction. We now need to understand the exact mechanism of this damage, whether it is reversible and what the long-term consequences of COVID-19 infection are on the heart.”

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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US Will Have ‘Millions of Cases’ of COVID-19, Says Leading Infectious Disease Expert

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The nation’s leading infectious-disease expert said Sunday that the US will have millions of cases of COVID-19, leading to more than 100,000 deaths.

Anthony Fauci, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, said that he had never seen an outbreak follow the worst-case scenario projected in disease models.

 

But he offered his own estimates for the course of the new coronavirus in the US.

“I mean, looking at what we’re seeing now, I would say between 100,000 and 200,000 cases,” Fauci said but corrected himself to say he was referring to deaths.

“But I don’t want to be held to that,” he added. “I just don’t think that we really need to make a projection, when it’s such a moving target.”

The US surpassed Italy and China to become the world’s largest COVID-19 outbreak on Thursday. As of Sunday morning, the country had confirmed more than 125,000 infections.

“We’re going to have millions of cases,” Fauci said.

So far the illness has killed more than 2,100 people in the US after the death toll doubled in just two days.

The country’s worst outbreak is in New York state, which has reported more than 53,000 people with the virus. In New York City, hospitals are beginning to run out of space and protective equipment.

The city has built a makeshift morgue to deal with the spike in deaths, and Mayor Bill de Blasio has warned that half of New Yorkers will likely be infected.

“We got a serious problem in New York, we have a serious problem in New Orleans, and we’re going to be developing serious problems in other areas,” Fauci said.

“So, although people like to model it, let’s just look at the data of what we have, and not worry about these worst-case and best-case scenarios.”

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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