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
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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.

Nurses, doctors, paramedics, technicians and other hospital workers earn the gratitude of the world right now. They risk their lives for others — what genuine heroes do.

But, there are many other people we might overlook who are also essential in these extraordinary times.

I took a run the other morning. It was still and quiet, but I was surprised to see how many people were up, about, and still working in a city in which "nonessential workers" have been told to stay at home.

Brooklyn's Prospect Park looks normal. It's just after 8 a.m. Joggers are running the loop singing to themselves. Cyclists are whizzing by and dog owners are ignoring their pets, staring at their phones. But Holly Williams says life doesn't feel normal — she's lonely.

"I have seen people in person, but it's not the same, you know, as like going over to a friend's house and watching a movie or having dinner," Williams says.

As hospitals across the country fill with COVID-19 patients, medical personnel are sounding the alarm about shortages of drugs essential to those patients' care.

"We have seen an increase in demand on pharmaceuticals that's unprecedented," says Daniel Kistner, who manages the pharmacy program for Vizient, a group purchasing organization that negotiates lower prices with drug manufacturers. "Never seen anything like this before across the whole country."

Back in January, Laura Gao, a 23-year-old product developer for Twitter living in San Francisco, was preparing to visit her relatives in Wuhan, China. The trip was to celebrate her grandmother's 80th birthday.

But in the days leading up to her flight, Gao's relatives told her to cancel her trip. The coronavirus was spreading throughout the city.

Gao, a native of Wuhan, stayed in San Francisco and on January 23, the day after her flight would have landed, the city went on lockdown. If she'd taken her trip, Gao thinks she'd still be in Wuhan today.

Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, criticized governors Thursday, saying they don't have a handle on their own supplies of masks and ventilators needed to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

In a rare appearance in the White House briefing room, Kushner urged governors and some senators to be more resourceful in their own states instead of looking first to the federal government for help.

Imagine a version of the NBC hit comedy The Office where everyone's working from home. Irritating boss Michael can't stop sending vaguely inappropriate gifs, lumpish Kevin can't quite master the mute button and workplace wiseguy Jim is always looking directly at the camera, because, well, he has no other choice. He's stuck in meetings on Zoom.

It seems like such an obvious and powerful idea: airlines that laid off thousands of workers over the past few weeks are retraining some employees to assist in hospitals and nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic. Flight attendants, after all, are already skilled in handling minor medical emergencies and by the very nature of their job, know how to remain coolly capable amid chaos.

Maayan Silver

Wisconsin is forging ahead with its April 7 primary despite the coronavirus pandemic and calls from some state leaders to postpone. It’s a critical state for both Republicans and Democrats in the 2020 presidential race. While in-person campaigning is off the table, both parties are figuring out how to get out the vote without gathering in person.

Since the beginning of the global coronavirus pandemic, Americans have been told by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention not to wear masks unless they are sick, caring for a sick person who is unable to wear one or working in health care.

The governors of Alabama and Missouri on Friday announced stay-at-home orders, leaving only a handful of state holdouts that continue to defy expert advice to self-quarantine to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as cases continue to rise.

There are now so few coronavirus cases in China that some days, authorities don't see any local transmission. China has gone from reporting thousands of cases a day in February to reporting one or two a day now. Over the past week, officials with China's National Health Commission reported just five new domestic cases. The total of new cases was higher, but almost all of them were imported cases in travelers who had recently returned from abroad.

Walmart on Saturday will begin limiting how many people are allowed inside its stores at one time, reducing its capacity to roughly 20%, as a way to enforce social distancing.

The retail giant joins Target, Costo and other supermarket chains in deciding to count and restrict the number of visitors to keep shoppers at least six feet apart — from each other and from the workers — hoping to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

A powerful Senate Democrat is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Zoom for deceptive practices, adding to the growing chorus of concerns over the popular video chat software's privacy and security flaws.

Several state attorneys general are also probing Zoom, after users, including government officials, reported harassment, known as "Zoombombing," on the platform.

Andrei / stock.adobe.com

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise around the world, there’s been concern about people in detention centers and the continued arrests of undocumented immigrants. Although Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) cannot arrest people who are seeking care at hospitals, they are still making new arrests.

Updated at 8:35 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that people wear cloth or fabric face coverings, which can be made at home, when entering public spaces such as grocery stores and public transit stations. It is mainly to prevent those people who have the virus — and might not know it — from spreading the infection to others.

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