The U.S. surgeon general says the number of coronavirus cases in the United States has reached the level that Italy recorded two weeks ago.
It's a sign that infections are expected to rise in America as the government steps up testing and financial markets continue to fall.
Dr. Jerome Adams told Fox News on Monday the U.S. is at a critical inflection point. Two weeks ago, there were 1,700 cases of coronavirus in Italy.
"We are at a critical inflection point in this country. People, we are where Italy was two weeks ago in terms of our numbers and we have a choice to make as a nation. Do we want to go the direction of South Korea and really lower our mortality rates or do we want to go the direction of Italy and when you look at the projections there's every chance we could be Italy but there's every hope we could be South Korea if people actually listen, if people actually social distance, if people actually do the basic public heath measures that we've all been talking about as doctors," Adams said.
Now, Italy is reporting an estimated 25,000 cases and more than 1,800 deaths. So far, 65 people have died in the United States.
The majority of people who have coronavirus will get better without any long-term effects, according to an Oregon doctor. About 80% of cases tend to be mild. In these cases, symptoms diminish over five to seven days, although people are still capable of transmitting the disease.
But there are many people with a higher risk of having a more severe disease if they are diagnosed with coronavirus, including those with heart disease, diabetes, asthma and other vascular disease problems. Also, most children who get it have mild symptoms.