While world governments desperately act to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, life around the globe has been halted as the pandemic continues to accelerate.
On Monday, March 16, the White House suggested that public gatherings be limited to no more than 10 people for the next 15 days while the CDC recommended canceling or postponing in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S.
On Tuesday, March 17, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Tuesday night said the state reported its first positive case of the new coronavirus, meaning that all 50 states have confirmed cases.
Justice said the confirmed case is in the state's Eastern Panhandle, an area close to Washington, D.C. He did not immediately disclose the county where the illness occurred.
The United States officially surpassed China and Italy in its number of COVID-19 cases on March 26, becoming the country with the most reported novel coronavirus cases in the world.
According to a running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. had 82,404 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday evening. China had 81,782 and Italy had 80,589.
For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
This is everywhere in the U.S. and around the world with confirmed cases of COVID-19 virus:
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On Monday, March 3, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning on its Instagram page urging international travelers to avoid countries with a Level 3 travel health notice and to reconsider embarking on any cruise ships that are heading to or traveling within Asia.
A growing fear of epidemiologists amid the threat of the pandemic is the serious consequences that could result from a lack of proactivity in stopping further spread of the virus by failing to enact crucial precautionary measures.
The vast majority of people who get sick recover from the illness, which could lead some to wonder why measures like a travel ban or cancellations of mass gatherings are necessary.
Simply put, social distancing, event cancellations, working from home and self quarantines are not only about preventing the illness itself, but rather, slowing the rate at which people get sick.