What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

Brazil is emerging as potentially the next big hot spot for the new coronavirus amid President Jair Bolsonaro’s insistence that it is just a “little flu.”

The intensifying outbreak in Brazil — Latin America’s biggest country, with 211 million people — has pushed hospitals to the breaking point, leaving victims to die at home.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Monday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.


— Brazil is emerging as potentially the next big hot spot for the new coronavirus amid President Jair Bolsonaro’s insistence that there’s no need for the sharp restrictions that have slowed the infection’s spread in Europe and the U.S.

— Computer issues at the U.S. Small Business Administration have slowed the second round of loan applications for the small business relief program. Banks had thousands of applications ready to go Monday.

— Stocks around the world rose as governments prepare to gradually lift restrictions they imposed on businesses to slow the sweep of the coronavirus pandemic.

— Texas Gov. Greg Abbott outlined a slow reopening of the state’s economy, allowing restaurants, retailers, movie theaters and malls to start letting customers trickle into their establishments starting Friday.

— The historic crash in oil prices in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is reverberating across the Middle East as crude-dependent countries scramble to offset losses from a key source of state revenue. The economies of all the Arab Gulf oil exporters are expected to contract this year.

— The spreading specter of the new coronavirus is shaking Latin America’s notoriously overcrowded, unruly prisons, threatening to turn them into an inferno.



For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.

TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.



0: The number of hospitalized patients in Wuhan, the city at the center of China’s coronavirus outbreak, after the last 12 were discharged Sunday, according to the Hubei province health commission.


BIRTHDAY PARADE: A fire truck blared its sirens, police cruisers flashed lights and dozens of families in cars decorated with balloons honked horns, raised signs and yelled: “Happy Birthday, Jessiah!” None of them knew him but they were all there for him on his special day.

VIRTUAL PROMS: High schoolers are heading online for isolation proms as they try to salvage at least one slice of fun and tradition for the Class of 2020.


Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak