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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This post will be updated periodically with information about the coronavirus in the Kansas City metro. For more information about the outbreak and how it is impacting life in the Kansas City area, read the FAQ.

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KCUR is working around the clock to keep you as informed as possible about the latest COVID-19 news in the Kansas City metro. 

Courtesy of Joanna Wilson

As word spread about the ordeal surrounding the first coronavirus death in Johnson County, Kansas, first through Joanna Wilson's Facebook updates and then through media reports, the metro area got its first glimpse of the health care system struggling to keep up — and the pain of necessary quarantine.

"We don't have a clue where he picked this up," Joanna Wilson told KCUR. The couple hadn't traveled recently. "We've gone to church, he goes to Home Depot, we run in Walmart," she said.

Unsplash

Media experts say better news literacy was needed before the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. But the rapid spread of misinformation along with the disease itself, they say, has created a different kind of pandemic.

KCUR is tracking the latest coronavirus developments in the Kansas City region on our live blog. But we also wanted some answers for how you can avoid misinformation online during these unsettled times.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Updated, 9:30 a.m. Thursday, March 19

The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus being diagnosed in Kansas and Missouri is going up, and one elderly man in Wyandotte County has died from the disease.

Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

With COVID-19 forcing schools across the metro to cancel classes and many peole to work from home, the “digital divide" between those with easy and reliable access to the internet at home and those without, is on the minds of many. 

According to a recent report from Broadband Now, the number of people without access to the internet in the US may be 42 million, nearly double the reported number from the Federal Communications Commission.

UPDATE Saturday, March 14:  One of the two "presumptive positive" cases of COVID-19 announced by the governor Friday is in Clinton, Missouri. The Henry County Health Center has posted a statement to its website that includes the following:

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Lila Symons was waiting in line at a grocery store in midtown Kansas City on Thursday, wearing a surgical face mask and pushing a cart full of paper goods and non-perishable foods.

When she returned to her Kansas City home later that afternoon, she planned to hunker down in a self-imposed quarantine for the next week or two. She said she has Crohn’s disease, a condition that causes inflammatory bowel problems. She takes medication that helps control her symptoms, but that suppresses her immune system.

A Springfield resident who recently returned from Europe is the second person in Missouri to test “presumptive positive” for COVID-19, officials said Thursday.

 

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Before June 2018, finding cattle that were potentially exposed to diseases was time-consuming and complicated, requiring a patchwork of information from auction houses, feedlots, producers and meatpacking plants.

That’s when Kansas spearheaded U.S. CattleTrace, filling a void when it comes to tracing deadly diseases in live cattle and possibly opening up new global markets for beef. Nine other states have signed onto the pilot program, which has distributed 65,000 ultra high-frequency tags that are scanned just like your online purchases.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

Did that just happen?

Financial markets and oil producers delivered a double whammy Monday that left the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 7.8% — its worst drop since 2008.

Ten Kansas City-area public companies tumbled even more than the benchmark average. In just a day, the 10 local companies saw their combined market cap fall $8.25 billion.

Updated at 9 p.m., March 8 with comments from St. Louis County officials

The father and sister of a St. Louis County woman who recently tested positive for coronavirus violated a self-quarantine on Saturday evening.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page expressed frustration during a Sunday evening press conference, where he announced that the St. Louis County Public Health Department may institute a formal quarantine that would legally require the family to not leave the house.

“Quarantine means stay in your home,” he said.

Updated at 8 p.m. March 10 with confirmation from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Tuesday that a 20-year-old woman in St. Louis County has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease spread by the new coronavirus. 

Original story from March 8:

A 20-year-old St. Louis County woman who was studying in Italy is now presumed to be the state’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, the disease spread by the new coronavirus.

Gov. Mike Parson and other officials announced late Saturday that the woman is in isolation at home with members of her family, who also have been in isolation.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page says the woman took care to keep others from contracting the virus once she started feeling sick. She called the county coronavirus hotline, and local health officials told her she met the criteria for testing.

Segment 1: The Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhoods funds new initiative against violent crime in Kansas City, Missouri.

Courtesy of Belton School District

Kansas and Missouri are at low risk for the coronavirus, but schools in the Kansas City metro are having “robust conversations” about how to protect students in case an outbreak occurs in the U.S. 

Their solutions include teleschool, a way to disinfect a whole classroom at a time and the old standby: If you’re sick, stay home.

Courtesy of the Missouri Valley Room / Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri

As the widening coronavirus outbreak stokes fears of a worldwide pandemic, it’s worth remembering that the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic may have started in Kansas. And it hit Kansas City particularly hard.

Lessons from that time still resonate today.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA — Kansas schools will require two new vaccines come August, including one against a virus that’s hospitalized 13,000 people and killed 200 across the country since 2016.

Seg. 1: Mental Health & Young Adults. Seg. 2: Chess In The Midwest

Mar 11, 2019

Segment 1: How your 20s are fertile ground for mental illness.

The American College Health Association reports that more than 60 percent of college students had experienced 'overwhelming anxiety' in 2018. But more of them are also seeking help. So what's changing-- the circumstances causing the anxiety, or the culture around asking for help?

Segment 1: Snow removal has pushed some cities beyond their budget.

A rough winter has put both Leawood, Kansas, and Riverside, Missouri, over budget for snow removal, but lawmakers there say it shouldn't impact other programs. Today, we discussed how they're keeping ahead of the winter storms, and other municipal concerns, including a need for more police.

RareKC

When Kelly Ranallo's first child was born 21 years ago, something seemed wrong, but no one could put a finger on it. When Ranallo’s second child was born, the Overland Park mother's feeling was even stronger.

"(Our pediatrician) gave that look that no mom wants to see, which is 'I'll be right back. I'm going to go and make a couple phone calls, then I'll be back, and we’ll talk about this,'" Ranallo says.

Segment 1: A Kansas City non-profit is advocating for people with rare diseases.

When you have a disease that's common, you can expect a swift diagnosis and a level of understanding from friends and family. But that might not be the case if your condition is rarely seen and little-understood, even by medical professionals. Hear about the obstacles facing patients with rare diseases and their families

In January 2018, a handful of farmers at a major Iowa pork industry gathering attended a session on the threat of foreign animal diseases. A year later, several dozen people showed up, spurred by the march of African swine fever across China.

“This risk of African swine fever is real,” veterinarian Craig Rowles told the crowd at the Iowa Pork Congress. “And as producers, we need to be very cognizant of that.”

Segment 1: MU professor finds that eye behavior can provide mental health analysis.

They say eyes are a window to your soul. But according to a University of Missouri researcher, they're also a window to your stress level.

Segment 2, beginning at 12:44: Local mom shares her story about changing her mind on a controversial issue: vaccines.

Segment 1: 100 years since the 1918 epidemic, but we still battle influenza.

Historians are still debating how many people died from the flu pandemic in 1918, at least 2,000 Kansas Citians included. We talk about the politics and protocols of treating the flu in the past and learn how to best prevent the spread of the flu this season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t know why young children across the country are coming down with a rare condition called Acute Flaccid Myelitis. Many are calling AFM  a “polio-like” illness, because it causes weakness and paralysis in childrens’ arms and legs.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

A typical high schooler's concerns don't usually include developing a method for early detection of Parkinson's disease. Today, we meet a 17-year-old who is using face-recognition technology to do just that.

It's been three weeks since the election, and public reactions are still hot. Today, Kansas City's own David Von Drehle, editor-at-large for Time magazine, treads the political aftermath.

Kat Northern Lights Man / Flickr-CC

You know you've thought about it before — whether or not you could survive a zombie outbreak. Well, according to a new study, Kansas City is one of the best cities to be in during a hypothetical zombie apocalypse.

Kansas Seeing Fewer Pertussis Cases This Year

May 5, 2016

Kansas appears on track for a quiet year for pertussis cases after two years marked by outbreaks.

As of mid-April, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment had recorded eight cases of pertussis. There were 412 cases in 2014 and 431 cases in 2015, meaning the state is likely to have fewer cases this year unless a major outbreak hits in the next few months.

News about the Zika virus has been spreading alarm across the globe. The virus is of special concern because of a rare birth defect it’s believed to cause. The Centers For Disease Control is warning pregnant women not to travel to affected countries. 

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