Doctors studying why obesity may be tied to serious COVID-19

FILE - This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. Coronaviruses, including the newest one, are named for the spikes that cover their outer surface like a crown, or corona in Latin. Using those club-shaped spikes, the virus latches on to the outer wall of a human cell, invades it and replicates, creating viruses to hijack more cells.

OTTUMWA — More than 900 new cases of the COVID-19 disease and 14 new deaths were reported across the state of Iowa Thursday morning.

Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health showed 918 new cases of the COVID-19 disease were reported statewide between 10 a.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. Thursday. In that span, there were 14 new deaths reported, 762 recoveries and 6,709 more Iowans tested.

In Wapello County, the data indicated an increase of 14 new confirmed cases. The total of active cases increased to 88, according to the state’s data.

Elsewhere in the Courier coverage area, there were six new cases and one new death reported in Monroe County. It’s the ninth death in the county attributed to the COVID-19 disease.

There were three new cases reported in Davis County Thursday morning. Van Buren and Appanoose counties reported no new cases. The total number of confirmed cases in Jefferson County decreased by one, common when officials determine a previously confirmed case was actually a resident of another county.

The top-five counties in Iowa in terms of the number of new cases reported Thursday were Polk (93), Woodbury (81), Sioux (56), Linn (51) and Dubuque (49).

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets. It is often mild and some individuals remain asymptomatic or have only cold or flu symptoms. But the disease can be more severe, require hospitalization and lead to death, particularly in older or immunocompromised people.

Experts, including those at the CDC, say wearing masks when in public, keeping at least 6 feet of distance between people when possible, and good hygiene can prevent the spread.

The Ottumwa Courier relies on data reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health, using its coronavirus data dashboard at coronavirus.iowa.gov. Data is checked each day at 10 a.m. and then compared to the data previously captured from the dashboard to produce stories.

The state has changed how it reported the data several times, and local officials often produce data based on different standards or in different timeframes. Therefore, the data will not always align with other sources.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the first vice president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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