BY SOO KIM,
The coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. has spread to nearly 70,000 people in the country, as of Thursday, up from over 55,200 yesterday, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. is following a similar trajectory of growth in cases as Italy, which currently has the largest number of confirmed infections, while the U.S. falls just behind it, followed by Spain.
Having reported a 25 percent increase in deaths on Wednesday and nearly 20,000 new cases by Thursday morning, the U.S. is poised to potentially experience the worst outbreak in the world, overtaking Italy.
The virus, which was first reported in Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei province, has affected 487,200 people across nearly 175 countries. Nearly 118,000 people have recovered from infection while more than 22,000 have died.
China has seen more than 81,700 cases to date, while nearly 73,000 have recovered and around 3,200 have died. But the country has claimed the outbreak has been largely contained, with now more cases being reported outside the country than within.
Europe is the current epicenter of the pandemic, with Italy and Spain the worst-hit. Italy has seen nearly 74,300 cases, while Spain has reported around 56,200 cases. The U.S. is just behind Italy, with around 69,200 confirmed cases as of Thursday.
But an earlier stage of the outbreak, both European countries showed a much higher number of cases than the U.S.
Spain reported around 4,000 and Italy around 1,500 cases, while the U.S. reported much less, with just under 500 cases, around two weeks after the 10th death was reported.
At that stage, the number of deaths in Italy and Spain were doubling every two to three days, while the double increase was slower in the U.S., which saw a two-fold jump in deaths more than every three days.
However, at a more local level and at an even earlier stage of the outbreak, deaths in New York state doubled nearly every 1.5 days, while in Lombardy (the worst-hit region of Italy), saw a doubling every three days. Madrid saw its deaths double closer to every two days. These patterns took place around a week after the 10th death was reported.
When you fast forward to a later stage of the outbreak, the trajectory of the number of confirmed cases and the death rate in the U.S. nearly converged with that of Italy and Spain about a week after the 100th case was reported.
But by around 21 days since the 100th case was reported, the U.S. saw a higher number of cases than Italy and Spain, with nearly 60,000 confirmed infections. Spain reported 50,000 cases, while Italy saw around 20,000 cases at the same point in time.
The number of cases in the U.S. was also reported to be doubling somewhere between every two and three days, while it was slightly slower in Spain and in Italy, where it was doubling closer to every three days.
The graphic below, provided by Statista, shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in a selection of states.