The purpose of this article is not to alarm or panic anyone. Its sole purpose is to update our readers on the current statistics and the speed with which the virus has spread and to encourage everyone to take precautions as advised by the CDC. There is a responsibility and duty to disseminate this information in the interest of public health, but to do so in a manner that doesn’t incite panic or fear.
This information was gathered from reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. The COVID-19 virus situation is changing on a daily basis and everyone should follow the precautions recommended by the CDC and the orders of the federal, state and local governments.
The COVID-19 virus has spread with an alarming speed across the world. According to the website Worldometers.info, there are currently 742,462 cases throughout the world. The death toll has now reached 35,344 while the website reports that 157,043 have recovered. The total number of closed cases is the combination of those recovered and the total deaths. That number currently stands at 192,387.
What exactly is COVID-19? According to ScienceDaily.com, “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging widely in severity. The first known severe illness caused by a coronavirus emerged with the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in China. A second outbreak of severe illness began in 2012 in Saudi Arabia with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
On December 31 of last year, Chinese authorities alerted the World Health Organization of an outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus causing severe illness, which was subsequently named SARS-CoV-2. As of February 20, 2020, nearly 167,500 COVID-19 cases have been documented, although many more mild cases have likely gone undiagnosed. The virus has killed over 6,600 people (As of March 17th when the article was published).”
The United States recently took over the lead from Italy on the total number of COVID-19 cases. Italy shows 97,689 total cases while the US, with a population of 327.2 million, shows 144,499 cases with 8 deaths per one million population. Italy has a total population of 60.48 million and is experiencing 178 deaths per one million population. So far Italy has been the hardest hit in terms of deaths, with 10,779 people dying thus far.
Spain is experiencing 157 deaths per one million population and has now had 7,340 deaths. China, where the virus originated, has a total of 81,470 cases but only 2 deaths per one million population. China has now had a total of 3,304 deaths. The virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China.
Germany has also been hit hard by the pandemic and currently has 63,929 total cases with 560 deaths.
According to the CDC website, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the United States on January 22nd. The 2nd case was reported on January 24th. There were no new cases reported on January 25th. On January 26th, 3 cases were reported which brought the total number of cases to 5. There weren’t any new cases reported until January 31st, when 2 more cases were reported, bringing the total number of cases in the United States to 7. There was 1 new case reported on February 1st, no new cases on February 2nd and 3 new cases on February 3rd, bringing the total number of cases to 11.
That number stayed at 11 for 7 days with only 1 new case being reported on February 11th. At that time there were a total of 12 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States.
On February 13th one new case was reported. Again, one week passed before 2 new cases were announced on February 21st. That brought the total to 15 cases one month into the virus being brought into the United States.
There were no new cases reported until February 27th. At that time only 1 new case was reported, bringing the total number of cases to 16. There weren’t any new cases reported until February 29, when 8 new cases were confirmed. The total number of cases stood at 24. The following day, on March 1st, 6 new cases were confirmed to bring the total to 30. On March 2nd that number almost doubled when 23 new cases were announced. At this point the United States had 53 confirmed cases. The next day, on March 3rd, 27 new cases were reported and brought the number of confirmed cases to 80.
March 3rd was 42 days into the pandemic striking the country when the number of confirmed cases began increasing exponentially. There has been some confusion with the numbers because the CDC reported certain numbers and the governments of various nations used different methods to come up with their numbers. The CDC website is considered to be the most accurate.
The dates will show the number of new cases with the total in parenthesis. On March 3rd, there was the aforementioned 80 cases of COVID-19.
On March 4th there were 18 new cases (98); March 5th, 66 new cases (164); On March 6th, 50 new cases (214); March 7th 65 new cases (279). March 8th, 144 new cases (423); March 9th, 224 new cases (647); March 10th, 290 new cases (937); On March 11th, the country would top over 1,000 cases, with 278 new cases (1,215); March 12th, 414 new cases, (1,629); March 13th, 267 new cases (1895); March 14th, 338 new cases (2,234); March 15th would see a significant spike in the number of cases, with 1,253 new cases reported, bringing the total number of active COVID-19 cases to 2,487.
On March 16th, 739 new cases were reported (4,226); March 17th saw another big spike in the number of new cases with 2,812 new cases reported (7,038); March 18th had 3,404 new cases reported (10,442); On March 19th, there were 4,777 new cases reported (15,219); On March 20th, 3,528 new cases brought the total number of cases to 18,747.
On March 21st, 5,826 new cases were reported (24,583). On March 22nd, 8,821 new cases were confirmed (33,404); March 23rd had 10,779 new cases (44,183); March 24th reported 10,270 new cases (54,453); March 25th had 13,987 new cases (68,440). On March 26th there were 16,916 new cases (85,356); March 27th had 17,965 new cases (103,321); March 28th showed that there were 19,332 new cases (122,653). On March 29th, the CDC showed there to be 21,846 new cases (144,499).
The jump from 103,321 to 122,653 cases was an almost 19% increase in the number of cases.
According to the CDC, in the United States, which includes Guam, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands, there have been a total of 144,499 reported cases with 2,602 deaths, which shows the fatality rate to be less than 1%. As stated above, according to the CDC numbers, the United States is currently experiencing 8 deaths per one million population.
As of the writing of this article, March 30, the states hardest hit by the virus include New York, with 60,679 cases and 1,026 deaths; New Jersey with 13,386 cases and 161 deaths; California with 6,356 cases and 132 deaths. Washington state has 4,896 cases with 48 deaths.
According to the Texas Department of Health and Human services website, Texas has a total of 2,552 cases with 34 deaths. There have been 3 confirmed cases reported in Tom Green County but over the weekend Shannon Medical Center reported 2 more confirmed cases. Both of the new cases are members of the same family of one person already confirmed to have the virus, bringing the total to 5. Brown County has 3 confirmed cases.
Of the 254 counties in Texas, 118 have reported cases of the virus. Harris County (445) and Dallas County (439) have been the hardest hit. They are followed by Travis County (179), Denton County (148), Bexar County (140), Tarrant County (139), Collin County (128) and Fort Bend County (101). The other counties that have reported cases of the virus have fewer than 100 cases thus far.
Hawai’i (175 cases) and Wyoming (87 cases) are the only states and territories that haven’t suffered any COVID-19 related deaths. Guam has a total of 58 cases with 1 death; North Dakota has 98 cases and 1 death; South Dakota has 90 cases and 1 death.
Most major medical centers now have drive-thru or telemedical services to diagnose patients. Patients as the drive-thru testing can get tested on the spot but it takes at least 24 hours to get the results back. At the beginning of the outbreak, it was taking 7-14 days to get tests results back. Many people who were initially sick weren’t diagnosed until over a week later. Public labs have so far handled 3,457 tests while 22,026 private labs had performed tests.
Numerous counties in Texas have issued “Stay at home” or “Shelter in place” orders for their communities. These counties include: Bell, Bexar, Brazoria, Brazos, Burnet, Cameron, Chambers, Castro, Collins, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Ellis, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gregg, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Hunt, Kaufman, Lampasa, Liberty, McLennan, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Polk, Robertson, Rockwall, San Jacinto, Scurry, Starr, Tarrant, Travis, Willacy and Williamson.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19.