Coronavirus

This illustration reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. A novel coronavirus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus is named COVID-19.
Credit Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Find the latest WUWM and NPR coverage on COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus here.

>>WUWM's Latest Coronavirus Live Blog
>>Coronavirus: Milwaukee-Area Higher Education Updates

>>Coronavirus: Milwaukee-Area K-12 School Updates

Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health. People who've tested positive for COVID-19 have a range of symptoms, including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Most people develop mild symptoms. But some people, usually with pre-existing medical conditions, may develop more serious illness. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after contact with someone who has COVID-19, believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There's currently no vaccine to prevent the COVID-19 infection. The CDC has shared some tips to prepare your home for community transmission of the disease. To protect yourself, health officials recommend you:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

In recent days, top U.S. government officials have moved to assure Americans that they won't lack for food, despite the coronavirus.

As he toured a Walmart distribution center, Vice President Pence announced that "America's food supply is strong." The Food and Drug Administration's deputy commissioner for food, Frank Yiannas (a former Walmart executive) told reporters during a teleconference that "there are no widespread or nationwide shortages of food, despite local reports of outages."

"There is no need to hoard," Yiannas said.

One of the nation's most important medical testing companies has acknowledged that it has a backlog of at least 115,000 coronavirus tests, which helps explain why so many desperate doctors and patients haven't been able to get tested.

Quest Diagnostics of Secaucus, N.J., says the backlog occurred because a company lab in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., where the company's coronavirus testing started, got overwhelmed when testing started to ramp up.

At least one-quarter of garment workers in Bangladesh — the world's second-largest clothing manufacturer, after China — have been fired or furloughed because of declining global orders amid the coronavirus crisis, according to the Penn State Center for Global Workers' Rights.

Henryk Sadura / stock.adobe.com

Every month, Adam Carr from the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service talks about some of the community events happening in Milwaukee. But of course, this month is a little different.

With the coronavirus pandemic and Gov. Tony Evers' safer-at-home order, it’s a little difficult to go and explore things happening in our community. But Carr has you covered — highlighting things you can experience from the comfort and safety of your own home.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Many of us have probably never lived through something like a viral pandemic.

But your grandparents might have.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, the last time America faced something like what we’re living through now was in 1918 during the Spanish flu. As many as one-third of the world contracted the virus — 50 million people died.

Maayan Silver

Wisconsin is plowing forward with its April 7 election amid concerns of many election officials. One of the biggest obstacles to a smooth election is the shortage of poll workers. And many are staying home because of concerns about COVID-19.

One person with a longstanding tradition of working the polls is Larry “Spike” Bandy. He’s been an election inspector at Gordon Park in Riverwest for about 10 years – but won’t be showing up on Tuesday.

Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America but it is dealing with one of the region's worst outbreaks of COVID-19, with more than 3,100 identified infections and 120 deaths.

The epicenter of the country's outbreak is the Pacific port city of Guayaquil, where bodies are lying in the streets.

Guayaquil has registered about half of all Ecuador's coronavirus cases and patients have overwhelmed the city's hospitals. In addition, a nationwide curfew and bureaucratic red tape have hindered the work of undertakers.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

The Food and Drug Administration announced Friday it was taking the lead on a national effort to facilitate the use of plasma from recovered patients to treat patients infected with the coronavirus.

The FDA program involves the Mayo Clinic and the American Red Cross, with funding from the federal government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

New York state had it deadliest day yet stemming from the coronavirus, with more than 500 fatalities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

The death toll has gone up from 2,373 to 2,935 in the last 24 hours, Cuomo told reporters during a late morning press conference. He described it as the "highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started."

Across the world, officials have been desperately adopting sweeping measures in a bid to keep people separated and the coronavirus at bay. But even among the wide range tried so far, one attempted solution in Peru and Panama has proven unusual: Officials in both countries have begun to limit their residents' movement by gender — with men only allowed to leave the home on some days and women on others.

"We have to get fewer people on the streets every day," Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra explained in comments to his Cabinet ministers Thursday.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic began, the millions of mostly women of color, mostly immigrant and often undocumented domestic workers in the U.S. had little job security. But now the current health crisis has this workforce reeling.

Social service providers that rely on volunteers are having to scale back operations, just as more Americans are coming to them for help.

Julio Alonso, executive director and CEO of the Hoosier Hills Food Bank in Bloomington, Ind., says students from nearby Indiana University usually help pack and distribute food, but they've been sent home because of the pandemic.

"In addition to those student groups, a lot of businesses come on a regular basis and volunteer for us as groups, and that has pretty much gone out the window," Alonso said.

A key maker of N95 respirator masks, 3M, is arguing against a Trump administration request to keep U.S.-made masks in the domestic market, saying the policy could backfire by triggering retaliation. Trump signed a Defense Production Act order Thursday specifically aimed at requiring 3M to prioritize orders from the U.S. government.

The president and others have criticized 3M, with some officials saying it allows or even encourages profiteering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michelle Maternowski

Updated 11:41 a.m.:

Judge rules Wisconsin clerks can't release results from Tuesday's election before April 13 absentee deadline.

Original Post:

The Wisconsin Elections Commission says a federal judge who ordered an extension for absentee voting in Tuesday’s election should ensure that no results are reported until all absentee ballots are in. The election has been roiled by fears of the coronavirus, with many municipalities saying they won’t be able to staff polling locations.

Álvaro Callama is struggling to survive an economic double whammy.

A Venezuelan electrician, he fled his homeland two years ago amid a devastating economic crisis that left him too poor to buy food. He moved to neighboring Colombia, where Callama — nothing if not resourceful — worked three jobs: picking fruit, laying bricks and guiding tourists on horseback rides.

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