The Washington Post headlines the latest: Coronavirus infections predicted to grow exponentially; first death outside China; outbreak becomes political.
The most serious illnesses appear to be in the elderly and people with preexisting medical problems, and it is highly contagious. Unless contained soon, it could become a pandemic — a disease that travels almost everywhere on the planet in the same manner as influenza.
China’s National Health Commission reported Monday that there are now 17,205 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection on the mainland, plus 15 in Hong Kong and eight in Macao. The WHO reported 146 confirmed cases in 23 countries outside China. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday confirmed an additional case in California, involving a patient who had recently returned to the United States from Wuhan. That brings the U.S. case number to nine, with no deaths.
Wired.com puts these numbers in the global context. [The Coronavirus Is Now Infecting More People Outside China][wired]. Public health experts worry the outbreak is entering a dangerous new phase as cases of local transmission in other countries accumulate.
… the increasing number of global cases—from about 800 a week ago to more than 7,800—and the fact that the infection has now spread to people in four countries who have never been to China. “These developments in terms of the evolution of the outbreak are of great concern,” said Mike Ryan, WHO’s director of health emergencies.
And that was just January 30th. It illustrates “exponentially.”