A Wisconsin resident who returned from a trip to China last week has been sickened with a new virus that originated there, becoming the first confirmed case in the state and the 12th in the USA, health officials said Wednesday.
The patient was tested for the coronavirus because they had traveled to Beijing, China, within two weeks, said Dr. Nasia Safdar, director of infection control at UW Health.
Doctors at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison say they have been preparing for a possible case of the virus since the news started to come out of China, but they are still surprised it's here.
"We are responding aggressively to the situation and monitoring all developments", said Wisconsin State Health Officer Jeanne Ayers.
Since the outbreak erupted in the Chinese city of Wuhan last month, more than 28,000 people have been infected and more than 500 have died, majority in China, according to the World Health Organization.
There are six confirmed cases of the coronavirus in California: two people in Santa Clara County, two people in San Benito County, one person in Los Angeles County and one person in Orange County, according to the California Department of Health.
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Briggs did add there is protocol in place just in case saying, "If a person says they've been in that area of China or if they're showing these different symptoms and it spells out what you should be looking for and if you find that give us a call and we'll help coordinate getting testing done".
As of the end of the day on Tuesday, the death toll on the mainland was 368, with more than 17,350 infected in China.
Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The patient was placed on "home isolation" per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, with tests continuing.
A deluge of those diagnoses may be on its way soon, as four additional planes repatriate Americans who had been trapped in Wuhan and as the newly-approved tests reach more labs.
Coronavirus not risky to UW students, experts say On Wednesday, the University of Wisconsin released a statement about the coronavirus outbreak now affecting Wuhan, China. The release said, however, the risk of coronavirus to Dane County residents was still low.
"It's a message that goes through our public health partners to clinics and health systems in their jurisdiction", said Ehresmann.