(CNN) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed more than 30 cases of novel coronavirus in the United States, as health officials prepare for it to become a pandemic.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on Friday that while the virus isn’t spreading throughout the U.S., “It’s very possible, even likely, that it may eventually happen.”

She said the goal continues to be slowing the introduction of the virus into the U.S. The coronavirus started in China in December 2019.

The total number of infected worldwide stands at more than 76,600 and at least 2,200 people have died. All but 11 of the deaths happened in mainland China.