The Louvre closed, citing coronavirus concerns

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Tourists take snapshot of the Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Mona Lisa, at the Louvre museum, in Paris, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. The Louvre, the home of the “Mona Lisa,” is commemorating the 500th anniversary of Leonardo Da Vinci’s death with a landmark new exhibit. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS (AP) — As cases of the coronavirus surge in Western Europe, France has closed its legendary Louvre Museum, the biggest art museum in the world.

The outbreak expanded rapidly during the weekend, sounding alarm bells heard on the floor of the New York State Stock Exchange as financial markets plummeted. The crisis has emptied streets in cities across the globe, as over 88,000 infections have been confirmed.

The deadly epidemic that began in China has spread to countries like Italy and the United Kingdom, sparking fear across Europe and threatening its tourism industry.

Sixty countries have been hit by the virus, and the worldwide death toll may have already passed 3,000. The first lethal cases of COVID-19 were reported in Australia and Thailand on Sunday.

Here in the U.S., the coronavirus claimed its first victim outside of Seattle on Saturday.

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