According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), UW Hospital and Clinics, the local health department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the first case of 2019 novel coronavirus in Wisconsin has been confirmed. The immediate health risk to the general public for contracting this virus is low.
The World Health Organization reports 20,630 global cases and over 400 related deaths. According to Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), 12 people have tested positive for the virus in the United States. Six states, including Wisconsin, have confirmed cases, and 36 states have patients under investigation. For the ten Wisconsin patients under investigation, 1 test is positive, 7 tests were negative and 2 tests are pending.
According to DHS, symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, which may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after someone is exposed to the virus. Symptoms have ranged from a mild illness (like a common cold) to severe pneumonia requiring hospitalization. DHS encourages travelers returning from China or contacts of patients with a confirmed case who become ill to let their health care providers know of their possible exposure before arriving at the health care facility.
"While we remain vigilant with the developments on the Coronavirus, locally our biggest threat from viral illness remains the influenza virus. Be sure and wash your hands and if you're coughing, cover your cough," recommends Dr. James Heise, DCMC Chief Medical Officer.
Updates on the 2019 novel coronavirus, including case counts, are available on the DHS Outbreaks and Investigations webpage by 2 p.m. on weekdays.