Coronavirus kills 6 in US; 'We are in uncharted territory,' WHO head says

In total, 106 novel coronavirus cases and six related deaths have been reported in the U.S. Worldwide, 92,283 COVID-19 cases and 3,129 deaths have been confirmed. 

Key updates: 

1. Washington state reported six COVID-19 deaths March 2, KCPQ reports. Five of the deaths were in King County, which has declared a state of emergency, and one was in Snohomish County. Three of the deaths have been tied to an outbreak in a nursing facility.  

2. Current cases of the virus are reported in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia,  Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. Nationwide, seven patients have recovered from the disease.

3. Surgical face masks could increase infection risk, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, said on Fox & Friends.  

"Folks who don't know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus," Dr. Adams said.

4. Veterans Affairs and CMS leadership added to the coronavirus task force, The Hill reports. Vice President Mike Pence, who is overseeing the White House's response to the disease, announced March 2 the additions of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie and CMS Administrator Seema Verma to its task force.  

5. "We are in uncharted territory," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, tweeted March 2. He continued, "We have never before seen a respiratory pathogen that is capable of community transmission, but which can also be contained with the right measures."

6. New cases outside of China have been nine times higher than inside the nation for at least 24 hours, according to CNBC. As the disease spreads to other countries, new cases in China are at an all-time low, Dr. Tedros said March 2. 

7. Washington officials plan to buy a motel for isolation housing, The New York Times reports. Dow Constantine, King County executive, said the county is preparing to buy a motel where infected patients could self-quarantine. Officials are also considering modular housing units for those in need of isolation but not hospitalization to free up access to medical centers.  

8. COVID-19 fatality rate is 2.3 percent, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. According to separate data cited by CNBC, the disease is deadlier for men than women, with a 2.8 percent fatality rate for men versus 1.7 percent for women. About 81 percent of the confirmed cases were classified as mild, the same study found.  

More articles on public health:
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HHS allocates $117M to fight HIV epidemic

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