Since December 31, when China first reported cases of the novel coronavirus disease to the World Health Organization, it has spread to dozens of countries around the world, including the United States. As of March 12, there are more than 127,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide, with major outbreaks in mainland China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea.
Including those repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, more than 1,700 cases have been reported across the United States.
Covid-19 initially arrived in the US in two ways. First, infected people returned to the US from China, where the virus originated and where the vast majority of cases have been reported. Second, people came into contact with someone who had been to China or to another country with Covid-19. Since February 28, new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the US with no link to travel, which means the disease has been spreading inside the country.
In February, there was little testing done by the US, and many of the original test kits the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent out could not be validated by testing labs. Another problem was that the testing was focused only on people who’d been to China.
On February 28, the CDC said the problem with the kits was fixed, and it was sending kits to labs around the country along with new, expanded testing criteria. Testing has still been slow to roll out, however.
Health experts say this means the number of cases will rise in the coming weeks. That doesn’t mean the virus is spreading any faster.
Trevor Bradford, an associate member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, tweeted that case numbers are rising because there is “likely a backlog of cases to be detected”:
Because of the lack of national testing that had been going on, there is likely a backlog of cases to be detected. As this backlog gets cleared, case counts are going to rise quickly. But please remember that reported cases aren’t newly acquired infections. 3/4
— Trevor Bedford (@trvrb) March 2, 2020
We’ll update this post as more cases are reported and more information becomes available.
Reported cases, reported deaths, and recovered cases (as of March 13, 11:16 am Eastern):
- 457 cases
- 31 deaths
- 1 out of 457 recovered
- 237 cases
- 4 deaths
- 6 out of 237 recovered
- 108 cases
- 1 out of 108 recovered
- 32 cases
- 2 out of 32 recovered
Grand Princess cruise ship:
District of Columbia
- 9 cases
- 1 out of 9 recovered
- 8 cases
- 1 out of 8 recovered
These numbers don’t include the 46 repatriated cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.