The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced that testing is in process for five people for the 2019 novel coronavirus in the state. Results are pending on these cases and one additional patient tested negative.
As of Monday there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Wisconsin.
“DHS is actively monitoring this outbreak and working with our local, state, and federal partners to be able to respond quickly and effectively when people have symptoms of this virus and a likelihood of exposure,” said State Health Officer Jeanne Ayers. “While all information we have so far shows there is low risk to the general public, we take new infectious diseases seriously and are taking precautions.”
The DHS is working with local health departments and its federal partners to conduct interviews, collect specimens, and follow up with patients to see who they have been in contact with.
Health care providers were asked to alert to anyone exhibiting fever or respiratory symptoms who had traveled to Wuhan, China. Clinical samples are tested to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Testing takes several days.
The DHS stated that seasonal coronavirus activity typically increases in Wisconsin this time of year, but this outbreak is receiving additional attention due to it being new form of the virus.
“We know people are wondering what to do to protect themselves and their families from this virus. Our best advice is to follow the same steps for avoiding colds and flu, including staying home when you’re sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and frequently washing hands,” Ayers said.
Those who have returned from China and are feeling sick should contact their health care provider and let them know about the travel and symptoms before going to a clinic, office, or emergency room.