Total Tally of Worldwide Coronavirus Cases Surpasses 100 Million
More than 100 million people worldwide have been infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
As of Tuesday, there have been at least 100,091,831 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe, with more than 2.1 million deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States accounts for more than a quarter of global cases reported, with over 25.4 million infections and 424,164 coronavirus-related deaths in the country.
According to The New York Times' COVID-19 database, the U.S. reported 155,677 new cases and 1,796 deaths on Monday alone.
Per stats from the Census Bureau, the U.S. is the third most-populated country in the world with 329,877,505 citizens, behind China and India, which each have populations over 1.3 billion.
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The grim global milestone comes as a fast-spreading strain of the respiratory virus has hit the States, prompting concerns from officials that it will soon overtake the country and put more pressure on the healthcare system.
Strain B.1.1.7 was first identified in the United Kingdom in October, and researchers there say that it is about 50 percent more transmissible than previous mutations of COVID-19. The strain does not appear to cause more severe cases and is not more deadly, but it would likely lead to an increase in infections at a time when hospitals are already overwhelmed and unable to properly care for the patients they have now.
Recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Americans not to get "complacent" as FDA-approved vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna — which he said will still work against the new strain, as well as another strain found in South Africa — slowly roll out across the country amid the ongoing pandemic.
"There's enough cushion with the vaccines that we have that we still consider them to be effective against the U.K. strain and the South Africa strain," he said. "But we don't want to take that lightly, because these things continue to evolve. But I don't want people to think at this point that the vaccines are not effective against them, they are."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the vaccines will most likely not be available to the public by the end of February, as previously expected by former Trump administration health secretary Alex Azar.
"I don't think late February we're going to have vaccine in every pharmacy in this country," CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told Today last week.
Referencing the Biden administration's plan to distribute 100 million vaccine doses in the first 100 days of his presidency, she added that "we're going to stick to that plan, but I also want to be very cognizant of the fact that after 100 days, there are still a lot of Americans who need vaccine, so we have our pedal to the metal to make sure we can get as much vaccine out there."
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For now, the CDC continues to recommend social distancing, hand-washing and protective face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"Collectively, enhanced genomic surveillance combined with increased compliance with public health mitigation strategies, including vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, will be essential to limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and protecting public health," the CDC website reads.
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