What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

National

A volunteer disinfects a Hindu temple in an effort to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus, in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, March 30, 2020. The virus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

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The top infectious-disease expert in the United States is warning that smaller U.S. cities are about to witness the rapid acceleration in coronavirus cases that New York is seeing.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that New Orleans and Detroit are showing signs that “they’re going to take off,” and other, smaller cities are “percolating.”

Fauci’s warning comes a day after President Donald Trump braced the nation for a death toll that could exceed 100,000 people.Trump extended restrictive social distancing guidelines through April 30, bowing to public health experts who presented him with even more dire projections for the expanding coronavirus pandemic.

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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:

— A Dutch museum that is closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus says a painting by Vincent van Gogh was stolen in a smash-and-grab raid overnight. The Singer Laren museum east of Amsterdam says “Spring Garden” by the Dutch master was stolen early Monday.

— The U.S. surpassed 125,000 cases and about 43% of those are in New York state. Testing is one reason. Doctors can’t detect an infection if they don’t look for it, and New York has been doing more testing than anywhere in the country.

—Russian President Vladimir Putin says the country has managed to slow down the spread of coronavirus but should be prepared for contagions to quickly grow.

— State and local leaders in the U.S. are struggling to navigate inconsistent federal guidance and fierce political tribalism that is complicating their responses to the coronavirus outbreak.

— An exclusive data analysis from AP finds that more than a third of counties across the U.S. still haven’t reported a positive test result for infection across what are predominantly poor, rural areas.

— The sudden rise in the number of virus cases in Tokyo and the government’s strong actions immediately after the Olympic postponement have raised questions in parliament and among citizens about whether Japan understated the extent of the outbreak and delayed enforcement of social distancing measures while clinging to hopes that the games would start on July 24 as scheduled.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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.

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ONE NUMBER:

$20:Benchmark U.S. crude fell more than 6% and dropped below $20 per barrel at one point for the first time since early 2002. Oil started the year above $60, and prices have plunged on expectations that a weakened global economy will burn less fuel. The world is awash in oil, meanwhile, as producers continue to pull more of it out of the ground.

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IN OTHER NEWS:

LIFE UNDERWATER:Submariners stealthily cruising the ocean deeps, purposefully shielded from above-water worries to focus on their top-secret missions of nuclear deterrence, may be among the last pockets of people anywhere who are still blissfully unaware of how the pandemic is turning life upside down.

TELL ME HOW TO WASH:Elmo, Rooster and Cookie Monster are doing their part to help keep kids safe during the pandemic. The beloved Sesame Street characters are featured in some of four new animated public service spots reminding young fans to take care while doing such things as washing hands and sneezing.

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

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