More than 500K infected by novel coronavirus: study

The number of confirmed novel coronavirus infections worldwide has surpassed 510,000, according to data released Thursday by Johns Hopkins University.

That includes nearly 23,000 deaths and almost 121,000 recovered cases, the Baltimore, Maryland school running tally indicated.

Governments have struggled to contain the virus' spread, but instituted measures of varying strength to curtail public interactions as people who may not be displaying symptoms, but who are infected, could be contagious.

While deaths are far short of those who have recovered, the virus can still cause major health problems and possibly death for the elderly and individuals with pre-existing conditions including hypertension, diabetes and asthma.

But despite the rising number of cases, most who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China, in December, the virus has spread to at least 175 countries and regions, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins.

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