The Wisconsin Department of Health Services confirmed one case of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Wisconsin on Wednesday.
The patient, whose name was not released, received treatment at the University of Wisconsin hospital in Madison. According to a press release from the DHS, they recently travelled to Beijing, China, where they were exposed to confirmed cases of the virus.
While the patient was tested at UW Hospital, they were not admitted. And now they’re home, isolated and recovering, according to the release.
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So far, it is not believed the patient visited the UW-Madison campus other than to seek care at the University Hospital, according to Executive Director of University Health Services, Jake Baggott in a statement to the campus community.
The risk to the campus community is believed to be low because the patient is isolated at home, and the university has been working with UW Health and the Wisconsin Department of Public Health to prepare for this event and will, “take all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of our community,” according to the UHS statement.
Wednesday evening, the Madison & Dane County Public Health Department confirmed the patient is a Dane County resident in a press release. The release said, however, the risk of coronavirus to Dane County residents was still low.
In the release, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane
County Janel Heinrich said the county was well-prepared to deal with the virus and keep the risk contained.
“For the past month, we have been preparing for a confirmed case of coronavirus with our state and local health care partners,” Heinrich said. “We are continuing to work closely with them to monitor and respond to the situation.”
The Dane County release recommended those interested in up-to-date information visit the Center for Disease Control website on coronavirus.
In the DHS press release, State Health Officer Jeanne Ayers said the DHS and UW Health are working together to monitor the situation.
“DHS is operating with an abundance of caution, and is working very closely with the local health department and UW Hospital and Clinics to ensure that this patient and any close contacts are closely monitored,” said Ayers. “The risk of getting sick from 2019 novel coronavirus in Wisconsin is very low. We are responding aggressively to the situation and monitoring all developments. We are committed to keeping the public fully informed and will continue to provide updates as this situation unfolds.”
This is the 12th case in the United States. In Wisconsin, there are two other pending cases, and seven potential cases that tested negative for the virus. Updated information is available on the DHS website.
In interviews with The Herald last week, two UW coronavirus experts, Christopher Olsen and Robert Kirchdoerfer, both said students don’t need to worry about the novel coronavirus, because organizations on the state, national and campus level have all been over-preparing to deal with the situation and keep everyone safe. Instead, students should focus on preventing influenza — a much bigger threat to campus.
Students can visit the University Health Services page on coronavirus for more detailed information.
This article was updated on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 11:11 a.m. to include details on the patient released from the Madison & Dane County Public Health Office.