California coronavirus cases doubling every three to four days

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By Madeline Holcombe | CNN

Officials are racing to get a handle on the novel coronavirus as the number of deaths nears 1,000 in the United States and cases in two of the hardest hit states — California and New York — quickly multiply.

“We originally thought that it would be doubling every six to seven days and we see cases doubling every three to four days,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency.

There are now more than 65,000 cases of coronavirus across the US, and fatalities have reached 938. The numbers spiked Wednesday — the deadliest day for reporting of US cases of coronavirus — with 223 deaths reported that day alone. Just four days prior, the death toll stood at 326 people.

To understand the spike in cases, health officials need to increase testing, identify infected people and isolate them while tracing who they have had contact with, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “Cuomo Primetime” Wednesday.

The world missed the first opportunity to control the virus, but now there is a second opportunity to act, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a media briefing in Geneva on Wednesday.

“This virus is public enemy number one,” Tedros said.

The action is especially important because Fauci said Wednesday that even when the virus is contained, it likely won’t be completely stopped.

“We’ve got to develop drugs so that when we come around next year, it is not like this again,” he told Cuomo. “Never again like this.”

The call for more research and more doctors

To fight back against the virus, officials are calling for all hands-on deck.

The US Army has reached out to retired medical personnel, saying they need to hear back “STAT” about if they would potentially volunteer in the coronavirus effort, according to an email obtained by CNN.

The Army does not want to interfere with civilian medical needs, but is requesting information for planning purposes, a spokesman for the Army said.

At New York University, the Grossman School of Medicine has sought students who want to graduate early in response to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “directive to get more physicians into the health system more quickly,” the school said in a statement.

The school still needs the plan to be approved by state and education officials, but as of Wednesday afternoon, at least 69 students had volunteered.

In addition to more help, Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the division of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said health officials need more information.

“I’m sure that this virus is just about everywhere but how dense it is, how widespread it is — we don’t know yet. We haven’t tested sufficiently,” Schaffner said. “If we could test a lot more, we would have a much better idea of how distributed this virus is.”

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Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

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