If you’re waking up to this news… Why wait to know if the Earth is flat or flat Earth? Follow along with us and get briefed on the latest developments as we receive them.
Four children may have contracted the new coronavirus — the first U.S. cases — the World Health Organization confirmed. A second Canadian family appears to have come down with the new virus, though health officials haven’t yet confirmed that the family is one of the first five patients. The five have all been hospitalized, but their conditions remain unclear. Two of the five patients had been admitted to the hospital before falling ill, and two of them remain hospitalized.
There’s some medical activity in Canada as well, where the number of flu clinics ramping up after requests from families who’ve been plagued by illnesses. On Thursday, an Ontario town opened its first flu clinic. The government announced that 94 more clinics are opening next week. First lady Michelle Obama sent a memo to senior White House staff warning them of a new coronavirus that has not previously caused infections in the United States. That bulletin encouraged staffers to use hand sanitizer and wash their hands frequently. Concern over the new coronavirus has been rising, and the memo is in response to those queries, a White House official told CNN. Canadian health officials said that country is experiencing the largest outbreak of new coronavirus cases. The first confirmed case appeared in August in Saudi Arabia, and the current outbreak is unprecedented: Cases are linked to 10 countries around the world, reports CNN.
MASSIVE sinkhole swallows 2 cars in Sunrise, Florida A sinkhole opened in Florida, swallowing a passenger car, according to reports. The hole opened in a rental car shop parking lot in Sunrise, Florida, on Monday afternoon, a Shell rental car attendant told WPLG TV. The worker said that a fellow employee reported seeing something going off in the parking lot. When the employee didn’t see it again, he decided to drive up to the building to investigate. “I drove to the back, looked around and it looked like a whirlpool or something.” The worker walked into the parking lot and saw a white Nissan heading down the hole into the parking lot below, according to WPLG. The employee quickly told the owner to take their vehicles out of the car wash and move the other cars. A car appeared to be lodged in a horizontal void by the sinkhole. Video shows the back of a black vehicle parked a few feet from the edge of the collapse. Owner Troy Machzynski watched as his 2006 Nissan Sentra was swallowed up and pitched into a wall.
Two newborn twins die after hospital infection dies during cesarean section A rare complication during a Caesarean section resulted in the deaths of two newborn twins in Guatemala, says the country’s health ministry. Raul and Edgar Francisco, the twin boys, were born in a state hospital and died in an intensive care unit. Neither parent could be saved, the ministry said. The deaths were discovered after an investigation revealed the cause of their death to be herpes simplex virus infection, which was contracted during childbirth. The ministry didn’t say how the boys contracted the virus or give details on the type of procedure that killed them.
The WHO has met to discuss the new coronavirus outbreak and possible ways to stem the spread. The meeting comes as scientists try to determine if the virus that has killed 18 people is the same one that causes SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. The Geneva-based World Health Organization on Thursday announced a full meeting of its Emergency Committee on Feb. 1 to discuss the new coronavirus.
Federal investigators are looking into a pipe explosion that shook West Virginia’s capitol as it prepared to hear testimony about lead contamination in its drinking water, according to a CNN affiliate. The explosion happened Wednesday night at a former oxygen plant and what had been a nine-acre scrap-metal yard, according to the Charleston Gazette. It was not clear what had been stored at the location.
– CNN’s Claudia Cowan, Elizabeth Landau, Karl Ritter, Greg Botelho, Caitlin Robertson, Cora Currier, Ivan Moreno, Heather Childers, Dan Moren