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U.S. confirmed cases surpass China and Italy, and New Orleans may be next coronavirus epicenter

PHOTO CREDIT: Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

The United States now has the highest number of confirmed cases in the world, surpassing both China and Italy, according to data reported by Johns Hopkins University. Since Thursday morning, the U.S. has seen more than 17,000 infections and 200 deaths.

The news is surprising when considering China’s population, at 3.4 billion, is significantly larger than the U.S. population of 330 million. 

Though, according to Bloomberg, China is excluding asymptomatic cases from their confirmed count, threatening claims that the country has gotten the pandemic under control.

“Covid-19 clearly has a number of new features and one is the ability to be infectious in people without symptoms,” said Nigel McMillan, a professor of infectious diseases and immunology at Griffith University in an article by Bloomberg.

However, Wu Zunyou, a researcher for the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, stated, “Asymptomatic people won’t cause the infection to spread because in China all close contacts are quarantined in isolated units.”

In the U.S., new concerns have been reported in Louisiana – particularly New Orleans – as the next potential ‘epicenter’ for the spread of the coronavirus. Public health officials warn that the city could be hit as hard as New York. 

At over 2,300 confirmed cases, the state is now one of the top in the country. Nearly half of those cases are coming from New Orleans, according to USA Today. 

New Orleans reported its first case five weeks earlier than New York, according to the Associated Press. With testing expected to increase from 500 to 5,000, the number of confirmed cases, and the reach of spread, may soon be exposed. 

President Trump has now considered classifying counties across the country as low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk, based on enhanced testing capabilities and increasing data pools, according to a letter sent to governors. 

PHOTO CREDIT: Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

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