World surpasses 400 million COVID-19 cases 1 month after hitting 300 million

The worldwide COVID-19 case count surpassed 400 million on Feb. 8, just a month after hitting 300 million, according to data cited by The New York Times.

According to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and state and local health agencies, it took more than a year for the world to reach 100 million known infections, with the first cases detected in late 2019 and 100 million cases reported in January 2021. After that, the number doubled in only seven months, and it took six months to double it again. The known COVID-19 case count is also likely an undercount.

The increase, fueled by the highly transmissible omicron variant, may signal infections are a step closer to becoming endemic, according to the Times. However, an "endemic" classification gives no indication of duration, case rate, severity, vulnerability or death rates, with health policies and behavior determining what form endemic COVID-19 takes.

Four other things to know:

1. As of Feb. 9, the U.S. has reported more than 70 million total COVID-19 cases. 

2. More than 5.7 million COVID-19 deaths have been reported worldwide, including nearly 910,000 in the U.S. alone. On Feb. 4, the U.S. surpassed the 900,000 deaths milestone. 

3. On average, the U.S. is reporting 2,598 new virus deaths daily. Globally, 10,900 people die each day from COVID-19. 

4. The number of daily U.S. virus deaths is higher than it was last spring, before vaccines were widely available, according to Washington Post data. The seven-day COVID-19 death average recently reached 2,600, surpassing the late September peak of about 2,000 average daily deaths amid the delta surge.


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