45,000+ coronavirus cases may be 'tip of iceberg'; death toll passes 1,100

As of 9:30 a.m., Feb. 12, the coronavirus has sickened 45,206 and resulted in 1,117 deaths, but "we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg," according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, USA Today reports.

Here's what you need to know:

1. The World Health Organization officially named the disease "COVID-19" Feb. 11, according to STAT. The "CO" stands for corona, the "VI" for virus and the "D" for disease. The virus that causes the disease has been titled "SARS-CoV-2" in a preprint paper by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, the group responsible for naming viruses.

2. "The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries," said Dr. Tedros. "In short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg."

Cases of the virus are particularly concerning in those who never traveled to China, where the virus is believed to have originated, according to Dr. Tedros.

3. The virus' mortality rate increased from 2.2 percent to 2.4 percent Feb. 10. The sickness is still significantly less deadly than SARS, which had a 9.6 percent fatality rate.

4. A WHO team of experts arrived in China Feb. 10, according to CNN. The team will help contain the outbreak and "lay the groundwork for [a] larger international team" who will join them soon, Dr. Tedros said. The team is led by Bruce Aylward, MD, assistant director-general of WHO. 

5. President Donald Trump proposed funding cuts to WHO and Global Health Programs amid the outbreak, CNN reports. Released Feb. 10, the FY21 Budget Proposal would cut almost $65 million from WHO funding — a more than 50 percent decrease from fiscal year 2020 — and a 34 percent cut to global health programs. However, the proposal includes $115 million for global health security — $25 million more than last year's request — to prevent avoidable epidemics and respond quickly to disease outbreaks.

6. WHO is convening experts at a conference to discuss the outbreak response Feb. 11-12, STAT reports. Over 400 public health experts and researchers have registered to discuss the response to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. 

7. CDC officials mistakenly cleared a patient with COVID-19, according to Fox 40CDC officials said Feb. 9 that four Americans evacuated from China tested negative for the virus and the patients were quarantined at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. However, on Feb. 10, CDC officials said one of the patients actually did have the virus and the infected individual returned to UC San Diego Health.  

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