Missouri recorded its first coronavirus death Wednesday as the count of positive cases in the state grew to 24.


One of the new cases involved someone who went to work in St. Louis even while exhibiting symptoms, Mayor Lyda Krewson said on Twitter.


"With this case, there’s reason to believe there is community exposure," Krewson said. She urged anyone with cold- or flu-like symptoms to stay home and contact a medical professional.


Nationally, 7,769 people have confirmed infections, a number that increased by 1,250 over the course of Wednesday. There have been at least 119 deaths, including the Columbia victim.


Worldwide, almost 215,000 people have been infected and the virus is blamed for more than 8,700 deaths.


More than 83,000 have recovered.


Washington University Chancellor Andrew D. Martin on Wednesday announced that two physicians and two students tested positive for the virus.


In a letter to staff and students, Martin wrote that both students studied abroad in Denmark and did not return to campus. He said both are in quarantine out of state.


Martin said the two physicians at the School of Medicine are also in quarantine and are not working with patients.


"We’re working as diligently and quickly as possible with public health officials who are focused on identifying and communicating with anyone who may have had contact with the physicians," Martin wrote.


A patient treated over the weekend at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City is Missouri’s 17th person to test positive for the coronavirus.


The hospital tweeted Wedneday morning that the patient was seen Sunday at its Adele Hall campus in central Kansas City. The patient is isolated at home, the hospital reported.


The number of cases in Missouri is increasing almost hourly. Soon after the first Boone County case was reported Tuesday evening — a person in their 60s who had recently returned from a trip abroad — the first Jackson County case became the 16th in the state.


That patient is a man in his 40s who recently traveled abroad, health officials said.


The man is doing well and is in isolation at his home, while his family is in quarantine, Jackson County health officials announced late Tuesday.


Missouri health officials have reported cases of COVID-19 in Boone, Cass, Cole, Greene, Henry, Jackson and St. Louis counties, as well as one case in the city of St. Louis.


The virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, for most people, but severe illness is more likely in the elderly and people with existing health problems.


In a statement to The Kansas City Star, Cerner spokeswoman Misti Preston said the company asked anyone who had contact with the individual to self quarantine and closed its sprawling campus in south Kansas City for deep cleaning.


Cerner, a health care technology company, has 14,000 employees on campuses in the Kansas City region.


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