Britain could become a coronavirus "hub" like Italy and Iran, a group of top disease experts have warned.
The chilling warning comes as a dramatic map shows COVID-19 spikes in Milan and Seattle – areas with a very similar climate to the UK.
London and Manchester were named as the large cities most at risk of becoming the next hubs according to experts the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Coronavirus cases are low in warm tropical countries close to China, and in the southern hemisphere – where it is the middle of summer.
The report said: “Coronavirus has established significant community spread in cities only along a narrow east-west distribution along the 30-50 degrees north corridor.
“There is a striking similarity in average temperature (5-11C) and relative humidity (47-79%).
“In coming weeks, community spread could be predicted to affect areas including the British Isles.
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“There has been a lack of significant community establishment in expected locations based on population proximity and interaction through travel.
“Modelling predicted South-East Asia would follow China in the epidemic.
“COVID-19 failed to spread significantly to countries immediately south of China.
"The number of patients and reported deaths in south-east Asia is much less compared to temperate regions.”
On Thursday Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned “many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time” as coronavirus pandemic sets in.
He told the country people with even mild symptoms, a fever or dry cough, must self isolate immediately and that it will continue to "spread across the world and our country over the next few months".
Johnson received criticism for the comments as he followed it up with plans for "herd immunity", which could see up to 1.2 million dead.
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