Feb 8, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus global death toll surpasses SARS

Residents of Houhu Hospital District, Wuhan Central Hospital, flowers for the dead Doctor Li Wenliang

A medical staff member walks past Wuhan Central Hospital in China on Friday. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, has now killed more people than the 2003 SARS outbreak, the latest health figures show.

What's happening: Health authorities in China's Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, reported 81 new deaths from the virus on Saturday — taking the toll in the region to 780. China's National Health Commission confirmed later Saturday that a total of 811 people have died of coronavirus in the country.

Context: SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, killed 774 people, World Health Organization figures show. SARS is caused by a coronavirus, similar to 2019-nCoV.

The big picture: The novel coronavirus has infected more than 37,000 people as of 9:30 pm Saturday — including a 60-year-old U.S. citizen who died from the virus in Wuhan on Thursday.

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