The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday it is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to put together a team to go to China to help fight the growing coronavirus outbreak.

Nancy Messonnier, the U.S. health body's respiratory disease director, told reporters on a conference call that "the information that I have right now is that we are invited to be part of this WHO mission."

"We are working with the WHO through the particulars of that team," she said. "There are logistic questions and such about this, but my understanding is that there has been preliminary outreach and that at this point there are plans to include the CDC in that team."

The comments come after Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters Tuesday that Beijing has spurned U.S. offers to send a team to China to help with the coronavirus outbreak, which Chinese officials say has claimed the lives of more than 130 people.

A WHO emergency panel will reconvene on Thursday to discuss the threat of the deadly virus after it emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan last month and has since infected more than 6,000 people worldwide, according to the organization's tally.

The bulk of the cases, 5,997, have been recorded in China.

The WHO tracked 71 cases that have been reported in 51 countries apart from China.

The U.S. has announced five confirmed cases of the disease in four different states as health officials continue to investigate a total of 165 people who may have the virus.