Coronavirus cases on the rise in US, experts say not to worry

Reporter: Veronica Marshall
Published: Updated:
Members of the Hong Kong Department of Health wearing protective gear line up to clean their hands on the deck of the World Dream cruise ship, docked at the Kai Tak cruise terminal in Hong Kong on February 5, 2020, as health officials conduct inspections amid the coronavirus outbreak in China. PHILIP FONG/AFP/GETTY

There are now 13 cases of coronavirus here in the U.S. but despite the new diagnosis, experts don’t want you to panic.

We spoke to CBS Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jon Lapook and he really put the outbreak into perspective.

We may have hit the double digits for coronavirus cases here, but 42,000 are infected worldwide and 99% of those cases are in China, so the risk to Americans remains low.

When it comes to the number of deaths, while it’s killing over 2% of patients, that’s much lower than the SARS outbreak which killed about 10% or MERS where 30% of people died.

At this point, Lapook says we should be more concerned about the flu.

“In the United States, there have been 13 cases. So, again, when you compare that to the flu, where there have been about 20 million cases and about 12,000 deaths and 210,000 hospitalizations, it’s nowhere near as deadly or as much of a problem as the regular influenza virus,” he said.

So we know the flu has a season, so do experts think coronavirus does too? The answer is “yes” and just like the flu, the season won’t last forever.

The virus doesn’t do well when it’s warm and wet outside, so doctors think we’ll see a dip in the number of cases when the weather turns warmer.

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