People and institutions should prepare for the day when the new coronavirus - blamed for more than 2,600 deaths worldwide - becomes established in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday.

"We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare for the expectation that this is going to be bad," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in conference call with reporters.