WASHINGTON, D.C. – The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus worldwide exceeded 100 million Tuesday, according a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
As of 3 p.m. EST, the tally showed the number of cases reported across the world as 100,032,461. More than a fourth of those cases were in the United States, which continues to lead the world in the number of infected individuals and deaths, followed by India and Brazil.
The tally shows more than 423,000 people have died as a result of COVID-19 in the U.S. since COVID-19 made it to the country last year.
Experts are hopeful, though, that the ongoing vaccination efforts will slow the spread of the virus and the pandemic can be contained.
Meanwhile, another factor is threatening to intensify the pandemic – coronavirus variants first identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil. COVID-19 cases appear to be dropping the U.S., but these more contagious strains threaten to cause more spikes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says scientists are working to learn more about how easily these variants might spread, whether they could cause more severe illness and whether currently authorized vaccines will protect people against them. At this time, officials say there's no evidence that the strains cause more severe illness or increased risk of death.