Coronavirus cases near 1K — Here's what you need to know

As of 2 p.m., Jan. 24, there are 939 confirmed cases of the novel respiratory infection originating in Wuhan, China. 

Everything you need to know: 

1. 26 dead, 33+ million under lockdown as China builds outbreak hospital in 10 days. There have been 26 deaths related to the coronavirus outbreak, with cases in China, the U.S., Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Singapore. In response, China shut down transportation Jan. 24 in Wuhan and 13 surrounding cities, quarantining more than 33 million people, according to NBC News. A 1,000-bed hospital reserved for coronavirus patients is under construction and due to be finished Feb. 3.

2. The 2nd U.S. case confirmed in Chicago. The patient is a woman is her 60s and flew from Wuhan to Chicago Jan. 13, according to CNN. She is at a Chicago hospital and is in stable condition.

3. Infected U.S. man being treated largely by a robot. The confirmed coronavirus patient near Seattle is receiving treatment largely from a robot, CNN reports. The robot has a stethoscope to take vitals and communicates with the man through a large screen, George Diaz, MD, chief of the infectious disease division at Everett, Wash.-based Providence Regional Medical Center, told CNN. The patient is in his 30s and was diagnosed with the virus Jan. 20.

4. Health Committee will brief Senate on "emerging health threat." The Senate Health Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will brief senators Jan. 24 on the outbreak and what precautions the U.S. is taking, according to a news release.

"The novel coronavirus is an emerging public health threat," Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Ranking Member Patty Murray, D-Wash., said in a statement.

5. Do masks effectively block coronavirus? Disposable surgical masks may help prevent infections if worn properly and used consistently, experts told The New York Times. Julie Vaishampayan, MD, chairwoman of the public health committee for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said surgical masks are "the last line of defense," because they are not fitted or sealed. However, a study during the SARS coronavirus outbreak found that any kind of protection reduced the risk of infections in healthcare workers by about 85 percent, according to Mark Loeb, MD, an infectious disease specialist at McMaster University in Ontario. 

6. Fifty people under observation in 22 U.S. states. The CDC is investigating 50 potential coronavirus cases in 22 states, The Washington Post reports. Two cases include a College Station-based Texas A&M student and an LAX airport traveler, according to ABC 13 and The Los Angeles Times

7. WHO did not declare a global public health emergency. Officials said Jan. 23 it was too early to declare a public emergency, citing the "restrictive and binary nature" of the virus. 

This article was updated at 2:05 p.m., Jan. 24.

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