The first confirmed case of the 2019 novel coronavirus has found in Wisconsin, state health officials said on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 5.
Officials announced the finding after test results were received on Wednesday, and they stressed that the virus’ threat to the public or danger of it spreading was low.
Jeanne Ayers, state health officer and administrator of the Department of Health Division of Public Health, said that the DHS was working with federal and local health departments, as well as the University of Wisconsin hospital, where the patient was tested.
“At this time, the risk of getting sick is very low,” Ayers said.
Officials did not release information on where the patient was at this time. The patient’s local public health department would release more information on Wednesday afternoon.
Officials said the patient was an adult, had traveled to China in the past two weeks, had been in contact with another person confirmed to have the virus and had shown symptoms. The patient contacted medical professionals and was brought in to a UW Hospital for observation and testing. The positive test result was received Wednesday morning.
Under guidance from the Center for Disease Control, the patient is currently under home isolation. The patient had mild symptoms and was not quarantined at a hospital. They would remain under isolation until tests turned up negative and they did not have any symptoms. Tests are generally taken every other day.
People who have come in contact with this patient, including hospital staff, are being contacted about the case and are being monitored for symptoms. They are not considered contagious themselves and the risk for infection remained low.
How to protect yourself
The same personal hygiene measures taken during the regular flu and cold season are recommended for preventing the spread of this virus. Domestic and foreign travel restrictions (except to China) have not been imposed at this time.
Wash your hands frequently, cover your cough and stay home if you are sick, health officials recommend. Getting a flu shot is also recommended.
Symptoms include but are not limited to runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of unwell. Anyone who has traveled to China in the past 14 days and has these symptoms should contact their health care provider and tell them of their travel before going in.