MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Five people are now being tested for coronavirus by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
DHS says the results are pending on these cases and that the test results for a sixth patient were negative.
“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.”
Patients under investigation by DHS are evaluated and clinical samples are collected and submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing. DHS says testing can take several days.
Health officials say coronavirus isn’t rare – seasonal coronavirus activity typically increases in Wisconsin this time of year, along with influenza and other respiratory viruses. Attention is heightened in this outbreak because it is a novel, or 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.
DHS recommends that those planning a trip to China should monitor news reports and be aware of the rapidly changing situation.
People 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.