Coronavirus

This illustration reveals the ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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

See the most recent Wisconsin and Milwaukee County numbers.

People who've tested positive for COVID-19 have a range of symptoms, including fever, cough, and 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.

The CDC has shared some tips to prepare your home for community transmission of the disease. To protect yourself, health officials recommend you:

  • Wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth when in public settings or around people who don't live in your household.
  • 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.
  • Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Outside your home: Put six feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Have a question you'd like WUWM to answer? Submit your query below.

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In the face of mixed messages and confusion about who can or should be tested for the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted updated guidance for doctors on Sunday about when to test a patient.

The short answer is, if your doctor thinks a test is appropriate, he or she can request the test. But a request doesn't guarantee that you'll get one.

Confused? You're not alone.

Emily Files

Updated Thursday at 5:01 p.m. CT

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee employee who was tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is not infected. The school also says it's canceling all spring semester study abroad programs. 

On Wednesday, UWM Chancellor Mark Mone announced the university was officially suspending in-person classes between March 30 (after a prolonged spring break) and April 10. 

Another major American music festival and influencer hangout has been felled by coronavirus concerns. Coachella, which is held over two consecutive weekends, is being postponed. The dates are moving from Apr. 10 - 12 and Apr. 17 - 19 to the weekends of Oct. 9 and 16.

The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon by Coachella's promoter Goldenvoice, which is a subsidiary of the live event mammoth AEG. In the same announcement, Goldenvoice said it was moving Coachella's sister event, the Stagecoach country music festival, from the weekend of Apr. 24 to the weekend of Oct. 23.

Countries around the world are mobilizing to try to halt the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 100,000 people and killed more than 4,000 others. Here's a look at some of the measures that the nine countries with the most cases have implemented so far.

China

If you or someone in your household is sick with a fever and cough, you may be dealing with another symptom: the fear that you have coronavirus.

What are you supposed to do?

First of all, don't panic. Remember that it's still flu and cold season in the U.S., and seasonal allergies are starting up, too. Unless your symptoms are getting dramatically worse or you feel short of breath, you may not need to seek medical treatment (though it's OK to call your doctor and ask).

Economic Policies Running Thin Amid Coronavirus Woes

Mar 10, 2020
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

While the COVID-19 outbreak has led to some heavy handed approaches to public health, many Americans may also feel the effects of the economy’s invisible hand. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 5,000 points since the outbreak took off, and the S&P 500 fell by 8% on Monday alone. These were the biggest drops since the 2008 recession.

What a difference a day makes.

After diving more than 2,000 points Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average regained some of its footing Tuesday, rising 1,167 points.

The blue chip index, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose nearly 5% after the market's worst day since 2008. The price of oil also soared, up 11% after losing 25% the day before.

When I was a fourth-year medical student, I did a month-long rotation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. My first task was decidedly unglamorous: I sat in a cubicle and crunched data about fungal infections caused by contaminated contact lens solution.

So when my supervisor asked one afternoon if I wanted to help investigate a disease outbreak, I jumped at the chance. My task would be to track down people who had been in direct contact with mumps patients, work known as contact tracing..

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

New York is creating a "containment area" around a community in New Rochelle, in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus in an area that quickly became the state's largest source of COVID-19 infections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

"It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster in the country," Cuomo said. "And this is literally a matter of life and death."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For the most up-to-date information, read WUWM's March 19 coronavirus post.

  

Updated at 5:35 p.m. CT  

At least three people in Wisconsin have contracted the coronavirus, state health officials said on Tuesday.

Updated at 7:44 p.m. ET

One of the nation's leading infectious disease experts issued a stern warning on Tuesday: If you think you have escaped the spread of the coronavirus, do not become complacent.

"As a nation, we can't be doing the kinds of things we were doing a few months ago," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health. "It doesn't matter if you're in a state that has no cases or one case, you have to start taking seriously what you can do now."

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have canceled their respective rallies tonight in Cleveland, Ohio, with the campaigns citing public health concerns amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

The Milwaukee-based Manpower survey shows a stable hiring picture for the second quarter of the year.  However, the survey was taken in January — before the spread of the new coronavirus

Updated at 10:19 p.m. ET

President Trump said Monday that the White House is planning to ask Congress to pass a payroll tax cut and relief for hourly wage earners in order to assist workers who may be feeling the financial pinch amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump said that top administration officials will be meeting with Republican members of the House and Senate on Tuesday to discuss the possible payroll tax cuts and help for hourly workers.

As COVID-19 begins to spread and sicken more people in the United States, federal health officials are recommending people acquire a several-week supply of the prescription drugs they routinely take for chronic conditions. You don't want to be stuck without them if you get sick.

Shelly Hughes says three things are required to do her job: a strong back, a strong stomach and a big heart.

She's a certified nurse's aide at a nursing home in Washington state, which also means another requirement: To get her work done, she has to physically be there.

"You're helping residents that may not be able to dress themselves, feed themselves, toilet themselves," Hughes says. "The great stuff is that you get to know wonderful people. I have so many grandmas and grandpas now, let me tell you."

Updated at 4:39 p.m. ET

Stock indexes tumbled so fast Monday that trading on the New York Stock Exchange was halted temporarily for the first time since October 1997. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2,013 points as fears grew over the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic. The blue chip index fell nearly 7.8%, and the S&P 500 dropped 7.6%.

It was the worst day for the market since 2008, during the financial crisis.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

After several days of circling off the coast of California, the Grand Princess cruise ship has docked at a port in Oakland.

The ship has 3,533 people on board — including at least 21 who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, out of 46 people who were in the first round of testing.

Updated at 10:52 p.m. ET

Oil prices and stock indexes were in freefall Sunday after Saudi Arabia announced a stunning discount in oil prices — of $6 to $8 per barrel — to its customers in Asia, the United States and Europe.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

The city of Austin, Texas, has canceled South by Southwest, after a disaster was declared in response to the expanding coronavirus.

The annual event is a staple for the technology, music and film worlds; last year's edition drew more than 400,000 visitors to the city. The 2020 edition was slated to take place March 13 to 22.

In a statement Friday afternoon, SXSW said: "The city of Austin has canceled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the city's directions."

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

Twenty-one people aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California have tested positive for the coronavirus disease COVID-19, Vice President Pence announced Friday.

The Grand Princess had been returning to San Francisco after a cruise to Hawaii and has been kept away from port while a small portion of the roughly 3,500 people on board are tested for the coronavirus.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

President Trump on Friday stopped in at the Atlanta headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency marshaling the response to coronavirus — a major political test for his administration.

The trip itself was almost derailed by coronavirus fears, and mixed signals about what was happening created an on-again, off-again drama that played out in front of television cameras. The chaotic impression clashed with the White House quest to show that the public health crisis is under control.

Chuck Quirmbach

For the latest Bubbler Talk, we respond to a listener question about the city of Milwaukee's plans in the event of a widespread, local outbreak of COVID-19. That's the disease caused by the coronavirus, which has now killed more than a dozen people in the U.S. and more than 3,000 worldwide.

Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are telling employees in the Seattle area to work from home as the business world tries to reduce risks from the spreading coronavirus outbreak.

Facebook said a contractor in one of its Seattle offices had been diagnosed with the disease caused by the virus. The worker was last in the office on Feb. 21, and Facebook has closed the office until March 9. The company is encouraging all employees in Seattle to work from home through the end of the month.

David Ryder/Getty Images

State of Wisconsin health officials are promising more outreach about the novel coronavirus to nursing homes and other long-term care sites for older Wisconsin residents.

Several of the COVID-19 victims in the state of Washington lived at an elder care facility. Health officials say the virus may be a greater risk to seniors, because of their age and potential underlying health problems.

Long before the novel coronavirus made its surprise appearance, the nation's nursing homes were struggling to obey basic infection prevention protocols designed to halt the spread of viruses and bacteria they battle daily.

Since the beginning of 2017, government health inspectors have cited more nursing homes for failing to ensure that all workers follow those prevention and control rules than for any other type of violation, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of federal records.

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 11 people, after officials reported fatalities in California and Washington state on Wednesday. The most recent death is connected to a cruise ship that traveled from the U.S. to Mexico.

Officials in Placer County, Calif., announced that an elderly resident has become the first person to die from the illness in California. The patient, who was not identified, had underlying health conditions, according to the county.

Kena Betancur / Getty Images

The Milwaukee Health Department is now able to test for the novel coronavirus, officially called COVID-19. The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene at UW-Madison is the only other location in the state cleared for the testing. 

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

Four more people in the Seattle area have died after contracting COVID-19, health officials say, bringing the total in both Washington state and the U.S. to six. The state now has a total of 18 cases.

Three of the people who died were residents of King County, Wash., which now has 14 confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The fourth person had been living in Snohomish County, north of Seattle. That county has a total of four cases.

Updated at 10:21 p.m ET

As labs across the United States quickly ramp up their ability to test for the novel coronavirus, public health officials are anxiously awaiting results that could start to reveal its secret movements around the country.

New cases of the coronavirus were identified in at least four states on Sunday: New York, Rhode Island, California and Washington.

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