Health officials are warning the spread of the coronavirus in the United States appears inevitable, according to FOX News.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a top official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, expects to see community spread in the United States.
“It’s not a question of if this will happen, but when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses,” she said Tuesday in a briefing to lawmakers and reporters.
Only 14 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the U.S. The infected all either went to China or had been in close contact with someone else who traveled there.
Officials still believe the immediate threat to the public remains low. But the recent rise in confirmed cases in other countries has the CDC upping its urgency.
“As more and more countries experience community spread, successful containment at our borders becomes harder and harder,” Messonnier said.
The 39 Americans who had been quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan will be counted separately from the national tally, health officials said.
This story was reported from Atlanta.