'The worst has yet to come': Experts believe coronavirus outbreak is just beginning

Experts believe the severity and extent of the coronavirus outbreak originating in central China will be clear after the Lunar New Year holidays, CNBC reports.

"The bad news is that the worst has yet to come, as the number of new infections is still on the rise," Larry Hu, chief China economist at Macquarie Capital, told CNBC. Officials expect hundreds of millions of Chinese people to travel during the weeklong celebration of the Lunar New Year.

The current death toll of 2019-nCoV is 18, with nearly 650 sickened worldwide. First discovered in Wuhan, China, the disease has spread to Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore and the U.S., CBS News reports. 

WHO officials determined Jan. 23 it was too early to declare a global public health emergency, citing the restrictive and binary nature of the virus.

The CDC confirmed the first U.S. case Jan. 21 — a Washington man in his 30s hospitalized outside of Seattle for pneumonia symptoms. Officials say he had close contact with at least 16 people after returning from Wuhan Jan. 15, according to The Seattle Times.

"I would expect at some point we are going to have more cases in the U.S.," Dr. John Wiesman, Washington's state health officer, told The Seattle Times.

"It's one person coming in from China. We have it under control," President Donald Trump told CNBC's Joe Kernen. "It's going to be just fine." 

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