JOHANNESBURG -- South Africa is poised to join the top five countries most affected by the coronavirus, while breathtaking numbers around the world are a reminder a return to normal life is still far from sight.
Confirmed virus cases worldwide have topped 14 million and deaths have surpassed 600,000, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
That's after the World Health Organization reported a single-day record of new infections at over 237,000.
Death tolls in the United States are reaching new highs, and India’s infections are over 1 million.
In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said as many as 25 million could have been infected.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.