Spread of COVID-19 could last into 2021; WHO says pandemic risk is 'very real'

"Many people in the U.S. will at some point, either this year or next, get exposed to this virus," CDC official Nancy Messonnier, MD, said about the novel coronavirus, though she noted that public health interventions could still reduce the spread.

1. Spread of COVID-19 could last into 2021, but most cases are expected to be mild, said Dr. Messonnier, who is the director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a March 10 briefing. 

Dr. Messonnier said high-risk individuals should stock up on medications and groceries.

2. The most common COVID-19 symptoms are fever and cough, Dr. Messonnier said. More critical cases can result in pneumonia. The disease mostly affects adults, with those at the highest risk older than age 80 and suffering from underlying health conditions. 

3. The global death toll passed 4,000, with 26 deaths reported in the U.S. As of 9:30 a.m., March 10, 761 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the U.S.  

4. The World Health Organization has not declared a pandemic, though WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said the threat of a pandemic was "very real," USA Today reports. Dr. Tedros said the outbreak cannot yet be considered a pandemic because 93 percent of all COVID-19 cases are confined to four countries.

5. U.S. stocks experienced the worst drop since 2008, though the Dow rose early March 10. President Donald Trump said he would be proposing dramatic measures to help workers and businesses, according to USA Today.

6. Italian leaders placed the entire country in a total lockdown March 9, CNN reports. The country has confirmed 9,172 cases, second only to China, and all public events have been banned in an attempt to protect vulnerable individuals.

7. New York will produce 100,000 gallons of its own hand sanitizer each week, according to Business Insider. The sanitizer will be provided for free to eligible institutions and is being produced at a state prison.

8. A third Princess Cruises ship has been quarantined, USA Today reports. The ship was scheduled to dock in Grand Cayman March 9. Two crew members had transferred from a ship with at least one confirmed COVID-19 case. 

9. Healthcare workers can get tested for the disease at a drive-thru clinic at Seattle-based University of Washington's UW Medicine, NPR reports.  

10. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard have funneled $125 million into the development of drugs to treat the virus, according to STAT.  The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator initiative is meant to accelerate the process to develop new medicine.


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