How severe could the COVID-19 outbreak get in the U.S.?

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- One of the big questions most of us are asking is how bad will the coronavirus outbreak get here in the United States?

According to the CDC, Jan. 12 is when onset of the first two cases in the U.S. began. Since then, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has risen to 647.

However, doctors say it's too soon to say when we may see it peak.

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"Hopefully, the assumption is we will start seeing a plateau, not necessarily a sudden drop, before the plateau of that big outburst of cases," said Dr. Suma Manjunath with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Though the peak period is unknown, "the hope is only because most of the disease that you see is in the northern hemisphere, and the countries in the southern hemisphere are not seeing that much of a burden of the disease at this time and they are all in the summer months."

Map of COVID-19 cases across the US, updated as confirmed by CDC

For cancer patient Marcela Roldan, COVID-19 is something she can't take lightly.

"We are scared, but I believe everything is in God's hands," she said. "We never know how much it's going to last. Symptoms are like the flu, but you never know. I mean, like for me, a regular cold could be like a flu."

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"Hopefully in the next few months, will achieve the plateau with the right awareness of the disease, and all of us being very vigilant to catch the illnesses early, and self -quarantine so that we do not transmit the disease to other people," Dr. Manjunath said.

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