The novel coronavirus, designated 2019-nCoV, is starting to look like it's getting out of hand.
An informational website tracking the virus's spread, operated by Johns Hopkins University, puts total confirmed cases of Coronavirus worldwide at 28,353 today, up from just over 9,800 cases a week ago -- a one-week increase of 189%.
Mainland China continues to bear the brunt of the illness, with 99.1% of all infections (28,088) being reported in China. Southeast Asian nations such as Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand have also reported multiple infections, but none more than double digits yet.
565 deaths have been reported, and in some good news, 1,382 patients, once infected with the disease, have since recovered.
Mentions of the virus are popping up more and more frequently in company earnings reports. For instance, this morning, in the course of reporting its "best sales growth of the decade," cosmetics maker L'Oreal (OTC:LRLCY) observed that the Asia Pacific has become its "number one Zone" for sales growth, "with a remarkable end to the year in China."
In a nod to China's growing importance to its business, L'Oreal acknowledged that "the coming weeks will certainly be challenging for the people of China in their battle against the coronavirus epidemic," and that the disease's spread "will have a temporary impact on the beauty market in the region and therefore on our business in China."
Later in the day, shoemaker Skechers (NYSE:SKX) added, "We are deeply concerned by the health crisis in China, and for the well-being of our employees, partners, vendors and consumers in the region. We continue to monitor this situation and its potential disruption to our global business."