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.

The fast-growing number of cases of COVID-19 around the country is also bringing a surge in the number of deaths. In New York City alone, the death toll is in the thousands and rising steeply every day.

There, and in places like Detroit, Seattle and New Orleans, funeral directors are struggling to meet the increased demand. Joseph Lucchese, who owns and directs a funeral home in the Bronx, says it's unlike anything he's ever seen and it's dispelled any doubts he once had about the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.

The children's voices on the phone line were hesitant, but they were looking for answers.

"Why did we switch to remote learning?"

"When are we going to go back to school?"

"They're opening up an emergency hospital here, will that bring more coronavirus cases to my area?"

Picture an angry little ball, covered in spikes, perhaps equipped with arms and legs, and definitely an evil grin. That's how cartoonists and animators are anthropomorphizing Covid-19. Which seems to make the coronavirus unique in our long history of anthropomorphizing diseases.

Spring semester was off to a pretty normal start at Rolling Meadows High School. The school, in a northwest suburb of Chicago, was gearing up for the goodbye rituals of every spring semester: senior prom, end-of-year exams and graduation.

Caitlyn Walsh, the school's music teacher, was looking forward to the big choir concert and the spring musical. "From the fine arts scene we have a lot of end-of-year activities that are very cherished," she says.

April is National Poetry Month, and this April, we might need poetry more than ever. Poems helps us process both the world out there and the world inside ourselves, putting words to feelings that we might have suspected were ours alone to carry.

One universal entry point to poetry: Haiku. From children to scholars, the five-seven-five rhythm is familiar and comforting.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday that the state had significantly reduced a testing backlog even as he announced new collaborations to improve coronavirus testing capacity and infrastructure.

"The testing space has been a challenging one for us and I own that," he said. "And I have a responsibility as your governor to do better and to do more testing in the state of California."

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced On Saturday that the state has now lost nearly 100 more lives to the coronavirus pandemic than it did to the September 11 attacks.

In a briefing on the state's response to the crisis, the governor announced that 846 residents have died from the coronavirus, up 200 from Friday. Murphy also said there were 4,331 new cases in the state, bringing the total above 34,000.

"This pandemic is writing one of the greatest tragedies in our state's history," Murphy said.

New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, is scrambling to obtain ventilators wherever it can find them. The state ordered 17,000 of the lifesaving devices from the federal government, but "that order never came through," Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters at a news conference Saturday.

As the coronavirus rattles the globe, governments and aid organizations everywhere find themselves in a race to acquire scarce medical supplies and protective equipment — but some say the United States isn't playing fair.

Earlier this week, officials in both Germany and France accused the U.S. of diverting medical supplies meant for their respective countries by outbidding the original buyers.

Conspiracy theories tying 5G networks to the coronavirus pandemic are troubling telecom authorities in the United Kingdom and are being cited as possible motivation for multiple cellphone tower fires this week.

The federal government Saturday unveiled the first detailed national system for tracking the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

The new COVIDView system will provide weekly updates aimed at monitoring the outbreak across the country, based on the results of tests for the virus, people seeking care for flu-like systems and pneumonia and those diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET

In a grim assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump on Saturday predicted that the coming week would be "one of the toughest weeks" of the outbreak. At the same time, the president expressed frustration with the toll that social distancing measures are taking on the economy, saying, "We cannot let this continue."

With data projecting cases in several regions hitting their peaks within seven days, the president told reporters that the United States could see its deadliest week since the coronavirus outbreak began.

A good part of Percy Deal's day is spent hauling water for his family and livestock in two 55-gallon barrels. So when he heard on the radio how often and for how long he was supposed to wash his hands to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, he was overwhelmed.

"I mean that's like a gallon and a half or so," Deal says. "For me, I'm using the same water at least three or four times. I use the same water for cooking. I use the same water for cleaning up. So I can't be washing my hands that many times."

Easter is next Sunday, April 12. But the country isn't close to being "opened up" by then, as President Trump said he'd like to see during a March 24 news conference, a suggestion that was panned by experts.

For three minutes on Saturday, people across China stopped what they had been doing. In public spaces in major cities, residents clad in masks, together but physically separate, bowed their heads and paid respects to the thousands of neighbors and fellow Chinese nationals — friends, family, patients and medical workers — who are no longer with them.

As they stood in silence, air raid sirens and vehicle horns wailed their lament.

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