Daily coronavirus briefing: Surgeon general says ‘this is likely going to get worse before it gets better’

Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19
Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-sections through the viral genome, seen as black dots. (CDC / Hannah A Bullock and Azaibi Tamin)
By Mark Puleo, AccuWeather staff writer
& Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
& Adriana Navarro, AccuWeather staff writer

AccuWeather-(ENEWSPF)- Coronavirus, officially recognized as COVID-19, took less than three months to travel around the world. After surfacing in late 2019, the virus has spread to more than 100 countries and claimed thousands of lives.

“In so many countries, the threat of pandemic has become very real,” World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday. “But it would be the first pandemic that could be controlled. The great advantage we have is that the decisions we all make as governments, businesses, communities, families and individuals can influence the trajectory of this epidemic.”

In his opening remarks, Tedros added that of those infected, a number which topped 111,000 on Monday, most will recover.

After weeks of spreading through the United States, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed 600. As of Monday, 22 deaths were blamed on the virus in the U.S.

Weather and its potential impact on how COVID-19 behavior has remained a consistent focus since the outbreak erupted.

Hong Kong University pathology professor John Nicholls said that he suspected three factors would potentially kill the virus, according to the transcript of a private conference call in early February.

“Three things the virus does not like: 1. Sunlight, 2. Temperature and 3. Humidity,” Nicholls said in remarks that were leaked on social media. “The virus can remain intact at 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) or 10 degrees C (50 F)…But at 30 degrees C (86 degrees F) then you get inactivation.”

The CDC has cautioned that not enough is known about the virus to say for sure that weather will affect the spread, but a spokesperson said, “I’m happy to hope that it [the threat] goes down as the weather warms up.”

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