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.

Updated at 11:22 a.m. ET

Dennis Johnson fell victim last week to a new form of harassment known as "Zoombombing," in which intruders hijack video calls and post hate speech and offensive images such as pornography. It's a phenomenon so alarming that the FBI has issued a warning about using Zoom.

Like many people these days, Johnson is doing a lot of things over the Internet that he would normally do in person. Last week, he defended his doctoral dissertation in a Zoom videoconference.

Emily Files / WUWM

Wisconsin’s primary election is moving forward on April 7, despite calls from some to postpone it due to the COVID-19 outbreak. People who have an absentee ballot have until April 13 to get it in the hands of local election clerks, under a ruling Thursday by a federal judge.

Starting today, small businesses can apply for the nearly $350 billion in loans available through the economic rescue plan from Congress.

The loan program, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, is intended to support businesses so they can ride out the tough economic times and, most importantly, assist with either keeping current workers or rehire those who were laid off.

For the past two weeks, Nathan Tetreault of Lillian, Ala., has suffered through likely COVID-19 symptoms: dry cough, fever, waking up in the middle of the night struggling to breathe.

"I don't know if I have it. However, chances are pretty darn likely," Tetreault says.

Doctors wouldn't test him last week because he didn't meet the required criteria early on: He's not someone who's over 65 and showing symptoms, and he hasn't traveled outside the U.S. or come into contact with anyone he knows of who has tested positive.

Medical rationing is not something Americans are accustomed to, but COVID-19 may soon change that.

The specter of rationing is most imminent in New York City, where the virus is spreading rapidly and overwhelming hospitals with patients.

According to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state has 2,200 ventilators in its state stockpile. Current COVID-19 case projections suggest the state may not have enough of the machines, which help critically ill people breathe, as soon as next week.

Three Southeast Asian nations — Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar — are using fears over the coronavirus to double down on repressive measures aimed at silencing critics or opponents.

In Thailand, general-turned-prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha declared a state of emergency on March 26, granting him broad powers to protect the "safety of the people." It allows him to confine people to their homes, prohibits public assembly and includes additional powers of arrest and search and seizure.

The traffic jams of Los Angeles are legendary, with cars often inching along for miles, bumper to bumper.

But you can add LA gridlock to the long list of things that the coronavirus pandemic has changed.

Updated at 10:09 a.m. ET

For the first time in nearly a decade, the U.S. suffered a net loss of jobs as the coronavirus began to take hold in the country. But a monthly snapshot from the Labor Department shows only the first pinpricks of what will soon be a gaping wound.

Almost exactly 100 years ago, one-third of the world's population found itself infected in a deadly viral pandemic. It was the Spanish flu. Its death toll is unknown but is generally considerd to be more than 50 million.

"The death rate in 1918 was very high ... somewhere between 2 and 2 1/2%," Nancy Bristow, a history professor at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., told NPR.

Some reseachers have estimated a death rate as high as 10 to 20%.

The Trump administration is set to recommend that people who live in areas with high transmission of the coronavirus wear masks in public to avoid further spread of the virus, a White House official tells NPR's Tamara Keith.

Mayors in New York and Los Angeles have already urged people in their cities to use face coverings in public.

President Trump told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday that he was waiting for guidance from public health experts on whether people should wear masks in public.

Maayan Silver / WUWM

Wisconsinites voting absentee have more time to request ballots and cast their votes. U.S. District Judge William Conley ruled that requests for absentee ballots can be made until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3. The previous deadline was Thursday, April 2.

And, Conley ruled that voters have until 4 p.m. on Monday, April 13 to get their ballots into the hands of local election clerks. That's six days after election day.

The U.S. Navy captain who wrote an anguished and widely publicized letter this week to his superiors about a coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, which he commanded, has now been relieved of that command.

"I lost confidence in his ability," acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said of Capt. Brett Crozier while briefing reporters late Thursday at the Defense Department on the commander's dismissal.

It was never meant to get this big, this fast. Zoom — the video-conferencing service which has become the go-to way for millions of self-distancing users to get in touch with friends, family, teachers, co-workers and more — has gone public with exactly how large it has grown since the coronavirus pandemic, and what it plans to do about its growing pains.

Updated at 5:22 a.m. ET Friday

The doors at the Trust Women clinic in Oklahoma City were locked on Tuesday, when the young woman arrived for her appointment. Over the phone, a clinic worker told her the news – the facility had to shut down because of an order from Gov. Kevin Stitt banning most abortions.

Nearly 3,000 American sailors from the coronavirus-infected aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt are expected to have disembarked by Friday on the western Pacific U.S island territory of Guam, and plans to quarantine many of them in hotels there are drawing protests from local activists and politicians.

Pages