BARCELONA, Spain -- The confirmed global death toll from the COVID-19 virus has surpassed at least 400,000 fatalities.
The grim milestone reached Sunday comes a day after Brazil broke with standard public health protocols by ceasing to publish updates of the number of deaths and infections.
Brazil’s last official numbers recorded over 34,000 virus-related deaths, the third-highest toll in the world behind the U.S. and Britain.
While Brazil leader Jair Bolsonaro stoked his clash with health experts, Pope Francis has cautioned people in countries emerging from lockdown to keep following authorities’ rules.
Francis says “don’t cry victory too soon.”
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.