By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) – The United States now has the highest number of novel coronavirus cases in the world, surpassing China and Italy, according to data published Thursday by Johns Hopkins University.
The data shows the U.S. currently has 82,404 confirmed cases, followed by China with 81,782 and Italy with 80,589.
The worldwide total has surpassed 526,000, according to the data.
That includes 23,700 deaths and more than 121,000 recoveries, the Baltimore, Maryland-based education institution’s running tally indicated.
Governments have struggled to curb the spread of the virus and have taken various measures to restrict public gatherings as people who may not be displaying symptoms but are infected could be carriers.
While the number of deaths is small compared to recoveries, the virus can still cause major health problems and be fatal to the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions including hypertension, diabetes and asthma.
Despite the rising number of cases, however, most people who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China in December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 175 countries and regions.