Since December, the virus has spread to nearly every continent and case numbers continue to rise
Authorities in 213 countries and territories have reported more than 3,871,000 novel coronavirus cases worldwide since China reported its first cases to the World Health Organization (WHO) in December.
The pandemic has reached every continent except Antarctica. The vast majority of cases and deaths are now outside mainland China, where the outbreak began.
In China, the Hubei province, home to 11 million people, has been hit hardest. Most of the infections are centered in its capital city, Wuhan, where the outbreak is believed to have begun at a wildlife market.
The rate of new cases in mainland China has slowed. More new cases of coronavirus are now being reported outside mainland China than within, as sustained local transmission is reported in Italy, Spain, the United States and elsewhere.
The disease has hit the United States especially hard. About 1,260,000 cases have been reported in the country and 75,670 patients have died.
But experts say it’s unclear how deadly the virus really is, in part because a large number of cases including mild or asymptomatic infections may never be diagnosed. In the United States, New York City has even told doctors not to test most sick people unless they're hospitalized.
The director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has put the virus’s mortality rate at about 2%, while the WHO has estimated 3.4%.
In the United States, which is currently a global hotspot, officials have moved past efforts to contain the virus, focusing on mitigation and working to blunt the virus’ impact instead. As of March 25, at least 180 million people more than half of the country’s population have been ordered to stay at home.