Coronavirus cases in Missouri are rising at an alarming rate, but health experts say it’s too soon to know if the state is emerging as one of the next hot spots for the pandemic.

Health officials say Missouri has 1,581 confirmed cases as of Wednesday, a jump of 19.1% from Tuesday. Eighteen deaths are blamed on COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Missouri’s first confirmed case was reported March 7 and its second was March 12.

Two weeks ago there were 24 confirmed cases, and 356 just a week ago. Confirmed cases have more than quadrupled since then.

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