Image by Images via Pixabay/Victor Tangermann

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising people to get ready to have a break from regular life.

During a Tuesday briefing, the CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Nancy Messonnier warned that self-imposed quarantines could last weeks.

"You may need to take a break from your normal daily routine for two weeks," she said, as quoted by The Washington Post.

"Staying home when you are sick is really important," she added. "Don’t let the illness spread beyond you. Stay away as much as you can from other people."

Messonnier also noted that "you might see some local communities taking specific actions to mitigate the disease," referring to public places such as schools or other large gatherings could end up closing to help contain the outbreak.

That does not mean, however, that the CDC or the US government have imposed any kind of restrictions on public life.

In a Tuesday update, the World Health Organization raised their estimated a fatality rate to 3.4 percent, up from 2.1. That rate has shown to be much higher for older age groups.

And a vaccine is likely still 18 months or more away, according to experts. Until then, the coronavirus outbreak is raising far more questions than epidemiologists are able to answer. Experts are using models using data collected during past epidemics — but there are no guarantees the current outbreak will follow the same trajectory.

"I don’t think we’re going to be able to control it, the same as we’re not able to control flu," Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University epidemiologist told the Post. "The problem is, this is 10 times or maybe 20 times the burden of a typical seasonal flu. Maybe 40 times. That is daunting."