Coronavirus spreads to multiple countries. South Korea, Iran hit hard

Coronavirus is highly infectious, can be spread by those with no symptoms, and has a death rate of about 2%. Some areas have infections with no obvious links to China, making it difficult to determine how it is spreading. Worse, it appears reinfection can happen.

Let’s not be alarmist, however this is really serious and will probably get worse. Take precautions. CDC says avoid contact with sick people, avoid touching eyes, nose, moth, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Coronavirus can be transmitted via fecal-oral route, so, yeah, washing hands is absolutely crucial.

There are outbreaks. There are epidemics. And there are pandemics, where epidemics become rampant in multiple countries and continents simultaneously. The novel coronavirus that causes the disease named covid-19 appears to be on the verge of that third, globe-shaking stage.

Amid an alarming surge in cases with no clear link to China, infectious disease experts believe the flulike illness may soon be impossible to contain.

Global spread

South Korea’s prime minister says situation is “grave”, advises people to avoid crowded places.

10 Italian towns are locked down now.

Iran says coronavirus has spread to multiple cities. Singapore has at least 86 cases now.

Economic impact

China is a major importer and exporter. Our worldwide system of Just-in-time production doesn’t really have contingency plans for major delays. US companies are finding that their suppliers may have suppliers who use Chinese-made parts, and those aren’t available now.

Apple has already been impacted and says earnings will be off.

China’s economy is taking a hit. Factories need to open yet authorities fear infections could multiply if that happens too soon.