The coronavirus death toll is still rising, but US interest in the outbreak is plummeting
- Google Trends data show that Americans are losing interest in the coronavirus, even though the death toll continues to rise in mainland China and other countries.
- The World Health Organization said Monday that the epidemic peaked and plateaued in China between January 23 and February 2.
- Cases have been reported in 34 countries outside of China, with the most severe outbreaks in Italy, Iran and South Korea.
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Global stock markets dipped Monday morning as the coronavirus outbreak continued to grow outside of China, with new cases reported in Europe and the Middle East. The death count continues to rise: At least 2,600 people have died since the start of the outbreak.
But Americans appear to be losing interest, at least as measured by Google Trends data. Searches related to coronavirus have been declining in the US since the end of January.
The decline in interest could be because the outbreak appears to be stabilizing within China - the World Health Organization said on Monday that the epidemic peaked and plateaued there between January 23 and February 2. Similarly, a recent study of more than 72,000 coronavirus patients in China found that the largest number of patients were showing symptoms on February 1.
But the virus' international spread may be getting worse.
Coronavirus cases have been reported in 34 other countries, and 33 people have died internationally. South Korea has been hardest hit - the WHO confirmed 602 coronavirus cases and five deaths there on Sunday.
Italy has at least 215 reported cases and six deaths. It's unclear how some of those patients became ill. On Monday, a dozen towns in Italy were placed on lockdown.
In Iran, meanwhile, the coronavirus outbreak has forced schools to close. Officials initiated a campaign to disinfect public places after 43 people got sick and 12 died.
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