The global number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed 100 million on Tuesday.
The actual number of cases is likely much higher, experts say, but cases have been underreported due to inadequate testing and contact tracing. More than 2 million people have died of the virus worldwide, including 420,000 Americans, but that number is also believed to be higher.
There has been a sharp increase in cases since last summer — there were 25 million global coronavirus cases at the end of August, and that number doubled to 50 million by mid-November. The United States has had the world's worst coronavirus outbreak, and while the number of new daily cases has declined in recent days, the number of deaths has not; on average, more than 3,000 COVID-19 deaths are reported daily in the U.S.
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Vaccines are offering hope, but health experts worry that the highly transmissible variants first detected in Brazil, South Africa, and the United Kingdom will cause an explosion of cases around the world. Several countries, including the U.S., have enacted travel restrictions in order to try to keep the variants at bay.
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