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.

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.

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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.

Updated on March 16 at 1:56 p.m. ET

Kids, this comic is for you.

It's based on a radio story that NPR education reporter Cory Turner did. He asked some experts what kids might want to know about the new coronavirus discovered in China.

Updated at 10:17 p.m. ET

Hours after the White House rejected the idea of appointing a coronavirus czar, President Trump on Wednesday put Vice President Pence in charge of the administration's response to the disease.

"We're doing really well, and Mike is going to be in charge," Trump said, noting that Pence's experience as governor of Indiana made him adept at working with state and local health authorities.

"This is not a czar," the president later added.

Updated at 8:25 p.m. ET

Federal health officials issued a blunt message Tuesday: Americans need to start preparing now for the possibility that more aggressive, disruptive measures might be needed to stop the spread of the new coronavirus in the U.S.

The strongly worded warning came in response to outbreaks of the virus outside China, including in Iran, Japan, South Korea and Italy, which officials say have raised the likelihood of outbreaks occurring stateside.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Fourteen U.S. passengers evacuated from a cruise ship in Japan and flown to military bases in California and Texas have tested positive for the new coronavirus, U.S. officials confirm.

Earlier, on Sunday, U.S. officials announced that 44 people from the Diamond Princess ship had tested positive for coronavirus. Those who were sick were to remain in Japan to be treated.

AZP Worldwide / stock.adobe.com

Wisconsin health officials say a second child has died from the flu this winter, and there's been a big rise this week in flu-related hospitalizations.

The Department of Health Services says it also still regards the coronavirus as a very serious matter despite no new additional cases of that reported in Wisconsin. Also, officials say the coronavirus diagnostic test kits the state received from the Centers for Disease Control are flawed.

Flu in Wisconsin

The new coronavirus disease that was first identified in Wuhan has received an official name from the World Health Organization: "COVID-19."

"COVI" comes from coronavirus. The "D" stands for disease. The 19 represents 2019, the year the virus was first identified, in December.

The name will apply for the "entire spectrum" of cases, from mild to severe, according to a WHO spokesperson.

Public health officials attempting to contain the new coronavirus are trying to figure out how easily it spreads. One key question is whether people who are infected but show no symptoms can infect other people.

"If you have a lot of people who [have mild disease or are] asymptomatic and not seeking medical care for respiratory illness but are still contagious, you're going to have a very difficult time," says Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University.

David McNew / Getty Images

Updated on Friday at 4:55 p.m. CT

Wisconsin health officials reported on Friday that the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the state remains at one.

Officials say the female Dane County resident, who is infected, is doing well, but remains in isolation at home.

On Thursday, the state said the number of potential cases investigated has gone up to 14. But eight test results have come back negative. Results on the other five Wisconsin individuals who have been tested for the virus may be available by the middle of next week.

Updated at 9:40 p.m. ET

The World Health Organization announced Thursday that the outbreak of a deadly and fast-spreading strain of coronavirus constitutes a global health emergency.

"Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen, which has escalated into an unprecedented outbreak and which has been met by an unprecedented response," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

The first human-to-human transmission of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus has occurred in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

The respiratory virus was spread from a woman who had recently traveled in China to her husband when she returned to Chicago, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said at a press briefing.

It's the sixth confirmed case of the new coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, in the U.S.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, officials in China are urging citizens to wear masks in public to stop the spread of the virus — and cities in China as well as other parts of Asia are reportedly running out of face masks.

But can a mask really keep you from catching the virus?

To answer that, it helps to clarify which kinds of masks we're talking about.

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