New York has been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. The state has more than 250,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with more than 15,300 deaths throughout the state.
During a press briefing from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, it was revealed that a much larger number of New York residents may have been exposed to the virus.
According to Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot, as many as one million New Yorkers may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
“It wouldn’t surprise me that at this point in time if we had 1 million New Yorkers who were exposed to COVID-19,” Dr. Barbot said, via the New York Post. The number of cases in New York could continue to rise, with de Blasio saying he hopes to increase the number of testing.
“The numbers I want to get to certainly begins with many tens of thousands a day,” de Blasio said. “In a perfect world, we’d get to hundreds of thousands a day.”
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 48,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.