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Pence: There Might Be 'More Sad News'

Researchers fear the number of coronavirus cases in Washington state may reach 1.5K
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2020 8:59 AM CST

(Newser) – The first US coronavirus death, recorded in Washington state over the weekend, is unlikely to be the last. "We know there will be more cases," Mike Pence said, adding that there could be "more sad news" ahead, CNN reports. The vice president is leading the Trump administration's effort to stem the outbreak. He said in a CNN interview that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told him that most people with the virus will recover. "They will deal with a respiratory illness, we'll get them treatment," Pence said. But patients with other health issues could have "a worse outcome," he said, repeating that the risk is still low for most Americans. Two new cases have been confirmed at a long-term nursing home near Seattle, per the Washington Post, and the area's top health official said more COVID-19 cases could be confirmed there soon. Researchers there said the virus could have been around for weeks, raising the possibility that as many as 1,500 people have been infected, per the New York Times.

Thailand and Australia have recorded their first deaths from the outbreak, and the administration is enacting travel restrictions involving Iran, Italy, and South Korea. European nations are considering next steps that could be as extreme as putting large cities under lockdown. Short of that, Germany is considering closing roads and asking doctors and nurses who retired recently to come back to work to help. The spread of misinformation also has not been contained: A State Department report that has not been released shows that conspiracy theories about the outbreak were tweeted about 2 million times in the first three weeks, per the Post. The virus has been found in at least 60 countries. Almost 87,000 confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported, more than 7,000 of them outside China, where the outbreak originated. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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