As Coronavirus infections near 100,000 worldwide, fear of mass deaths for the poor

The number of people around the world who are infected with the new coronavirus is close to 100,000 as of Friday, according to global health officials.

In the United States, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is now 226 in 19 states, including 12 deaths.

The virus that causes the potentially deadly respiratory illness COVID-19 has now infected people in about 90 countries.

On Friday, the first cases were reported in the Netherlands and Cameroon.

From the Associated Press's roundup of the disease spread on Friday:

The head of the U.N.'s food agency, the World Food Program, warned of the potential of "absolute devastation" as the outbreak's effects ripple through Africa and the Middle East. (…)

And in the United States, more than 230 cases were stirring anxiety around the country, nowhere more than its northwestern corner in Washington state, where officials are so concerned about having space to care for the sick they were expected to close a $4 million deal Friday to take over a roadside motel.

The 100,000 figure of infections — likely to be passed on Friday — is largely symbolic, but a milestone nonetheless. Other major outbreaks in recent decades, including SARS and MERS, affected far fewer people but had a higher mortality rate.

More at AP.
[image of the coronavirus via CDC]