Louisiana has the fastest growth rate of coronavirus cases in the world
As of Monday, Louisiana has the fastest growing rate of coronavirus cases in the world, the state’s Gov. John Bel Edwards told the media on Sunday.
Louisiana has the highest number of cases per capita in the country making it the hardest hit – behind both New York and Washington state.
Worried about the increase in cases? Dr. Sam Wang, a scientist at Princeton, cautioned the public this week. “Do not panic,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Instead,” writes Dr. Wang. “Track the number of deaths per day. If the “doubling time” of these slows to more than 3 days, we’re starting to bend the curve.”
“Unfortunately, this also means that the coming weeks are going to be filled with painful news. Here in New Jersey, full lockdown starts tonight. We can’t expect a leveling-off of death rate until mid-April at the earliest. Until then, it’s time to hone your stay-at-home skills!” says Dr. Wang.
One reason for the surge in one of America’s most vibrant cities is Mardi Gras. The annual party started on February 25 – well after the U.S. knew about the virus but before the country had taken it seriously.
Dr. Corey Hebert, chief medical officer at Dillard University in New Orleans and an assistant professor at Tulane and Louisiana State Universities told BET.com that Mardi Gras is most likely the primary instigator for the surge.
With visitors from all over the world, there is a higher chance that many attendees were carriers and infected a large number of locals.
Another reason for the outbreak may be due to the vulnerability of those in the retirement community.
As of early Monday morning, Louisiana reported 837 virus cases. Twenty four of the cases broke out at Lambeth House, a retirement community in New Orleans, Dr. Alexander Billioux, assistant secretary of health for the state’s Office of Public Health told CNN.
Out of the 20 reported deaths in Louisiana, seven were connected to the Lambeth House, Dr. Billioux said.
Since then, Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards enacted a stay-at-home order which will stay in place until April 12.
“There is no reason to believe that we won’t be the next Italy,” warned the governor. “In the last two weeks our growth rate has been faster than any state or country in the world,” he added. “This is why it matters. If we want to flatten the curve we have to take more aggressive mitigation measures now and limit social contact now. We’ve got to take action now.”
Gov. Edwards tweeted late Monday evening that they now have COVID-19 cases in each of its 64 parishes.
As of late Monday evening, these are the 15 states with a stay-at-home order:
- New Jersey
- New York
- West Virginia
UPDATE: As of March 23, Louisiana has 1,172 confirmed cases and 34 deaths.
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