United States Now Has the Most Cases of Coronavirus in the World squib

The United States has now surpassed both China and Italy in confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), making it the country with the most cases of the contagious respiratory virus in the world.

According to data from The New York Times, the U.S. has 81,578 confirmed cases, with 1,180 deaths due to coronavirus-related illness, as of Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, China has 81,285 confirmed cases, while Italy has 80,539, according to the Times. However, Italy leads the world in deaths from the virus with 8,165.

The majority of the cases in the U.S. are in New York, which has 37,258 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 387 deaths.

New York City hospitals are struggling to manage the high volume of cases and are in desperate need for medical supplies like masks and ventilators.

RELATED: Coronavirus Death Toll in the U.S. Surpasses 1,000

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that he expects the need for 140,000 hospital beds at the peak of the state’s crisis — which is more than double the current capacity, according to NBC New York.

Wednesday was the deadliest day in terms of coronavirus fatalities in the U.S. with a total of 223 deaths on that day alone, compared to 164 on Tuesday, according to CNN.

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, in December, the deadly virus has quickly spread worldwide, prompting the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, and later, a global pandemic.

RELATED: U.S. Cases of Coronavirus Top 75,000, Death Toll Passes 1,000: Here’s an Updated Map of the Spread

The first case in the U.S. was confirmed in Everett, Washington, in late January in a patient who had recently returned from Wuhan, one of China’s largest transportation hubs. The first reported death in the U.S. from coronavirus-related illness came about a month later on Feb. 29, a woman from Washington state in her 50s with pre-existing health conditions.

Washington state now has the fifth-most cases in the U.S. with 2,649 confirmed cases and 134 deaths, according to the Times.

Several states, including New York, California, Illinois, and Washington have issued stay-at-home orders in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

Scroll for more
Continue reading on PEOPLE...
Tags: