What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

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Young passengers wear face masks to protect against the coronavirus as they arrive at the Hong Kong airport, Monday, March 23, 2020. For most, the cor...
A Buddhist monk strikes a gong at a pagoda in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Mar. 23, 2020. Buddhist pagodas in Cambodia on Monday offered prayer, chan...
Timed to the current outbreak of the worldwide coronavirus, Covid-Free Cupcakes with icing masks are on display in the Cheesecake House and Restaurant...
Members of a local residents group wear protective gear as they disinfect a local park as a precaution against the new coronavirus in Seoul, South Kor...
A volunteer washes hands with an antibacterial cleanser to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus outside a mosque in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Monday,...

Young passengers wear face masks to protect against the coronavirus as they arrive at the Hong Kong airport, Monday, March 23, 2020. For most, the cor...

A Buddhist monk strikes a gong at a pagoda in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Mar. 23, 2020. Buddhist pagodas in Cambodia on Monday offered prayer, chan...

Timed to the current outbreak of the worldwide coronavirus, Covid-Free Cupcakes with icing masks are on display in the Cheesecake House and Restaurant...

Members of a local residents group wear protective gear as they disinfect a local park as a precaution against the new coronavirus in Seoul, South Kor...

A volunteer washes hands with an antibacterial cleanser to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus outside a mosque in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Monday,...

A surge in infections has caused a critical shortage of medical supplies in many places. The hunt for ventilators and other critical items is consuming Europe and the U.S. Deaths around the world passed the 15,000 mark Monday.

Meanwhile, China is slamming the U.S. for “scapegoating” over the virus, the Tokyo Olympics is considering postponing the event to 2021, and lawmakers in the U.S. are negotiating a nearly $2 trillion economic rescue package.

Here are some of AP's top stories Monday on the world's coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.

WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY:

— The coronavirus has arrived in the Gaza Strip and Syria, raising fears that the pandemic may now prey on some of the most vulnerable populations in the world.

— Those defying social distancing and lockdown restrictions from France to Florida to carry on as normal are coming under fire. One French minister was furiously clear how he saw it: “Some consider they're little heroes when they break the rules. Well, no. You're an imbecile, and especially a threat to yourself.”

— Grieving has become even more upsetting for families in the time of coronavirus. An untold number of burials around the globe now go forward with nothing more than a cleric, a funeral home employee and a single loved one. Others receive what would have once been called pauper's funerals, buried in the clothes they died in.

— Most American presidents will confront a crisis — or crises — whether it's a natural disaster, war, economic downturn, public health threat or terrorism. Here's a look at how they fared.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.

Misinformation overload: How to separate fact from fiction and rumor from deliberate efforts to mislead.

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ONE NUMBER:

$300 BILLION: In a series of sweeping steps, the Fed will lend to small and large businesses and local governments as well as extend its bond buying programs. It's all part of the Fed's ongoing efforts to support the flow of credit through an economy ravaged by the viral outbreak.

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IN OTHER NEWS:

AP'S MARCH MADNESS: The virus may have canceled March Madness, but AP sports writers are counting down the top 10 men's basketball games in the history of the NCAA tournament. We're counting them down through April 5, along with a host of memorable moments through the eyes of players who were there.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak