People wear face masks in New York’s Times Square on March 03, 2020.
Eduardo Munoz | VIEWpress | Getty Images
The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. jumped by 17 over 24 hours, sickening 108 people and killing at least six, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.
At least 48 of those cases are people who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, and the Diamond Princess cruise ship, according to an update on the agency’s website. At least 22 cases are travel-related infections, while 11 are from human-to-human interaction, according to the CDC. U.S. health officials are also investigating 27 other cases with currently no clear reason for infection, the CDC says.
The CDC’s data, released Tuesday, was updated at 4 p.m. Monday night.
Separately, the CDC said it’s stopped reporting “persons under investigation” or PUIs. It’s also not going to report case counts over the weekends. “Now that states are testing and reporting their own results, CDC’s numbers are not representative all of testing being done nationwide,” the CDC said.
Earlier in the day, a top CDC official said the World Health Organization will likely deem the coronavirus a global pandemic once sustained person-to-person spread takes hold outside China.
The outbreak already meets two of the three main criteria under the technical designation of a pandemic, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said in prepared remarks to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
The U.S. also has just 10% of the required respirator masks that would be needed for medical professionals if the COVID-19 outbreak erupts into a “full-blown” pandemic in America, Health and Human Services official Dr. Robert Kadlec said at the hearing.