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Latest Stats for Coronavirus in Wisconsin and Prevention Ideas

Submitted by Jeanine Connell BSN, RN

LCO Communtiy Health Center

On February 11, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC and the Division of Public Health (DPH are closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new coronavirus (COVID) that originated in Wuhan, China.

On February 5, Wisconsin confirmed its first case of COVID-19. More information for the general public, health care professionals and local health departments can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

People Under Investigation (PUI) in Wisconsin

Test Results Number of People

Positive 1

Negative 24

Pending 14

Total 39

Although one case of COVID-19 has been detected in Wisconsin, the immediate health risk to the general public in Wisconsin, and the U.S. as a whole, remains low.

Influenza and other respiratory viruses are common in Wisconsin at this time of year. To stay healthy, wash your hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home when you are sick.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness in people and animals. The Centers for Disease Control has created a flowchart to identify and assess COVID-19 for clinicians to evaluate patients who may be ill with or who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

If in the past 14 days since first onset of symptoms with a history of either travel to China OR close contact with a person known to have COVID illness AND the person has fever or symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath we are advised to place a facemask on the patient, isolate the patient in a private room or separate area and wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). At that time we would contact the Sawyer County Health Department to report at-risk patients and their clinical status. At that time, the need to collect specimens to test for COVID-19 would be assessed and disposition decided. If the patient is discharged to home the patient would be instructed as needed depending on the severity of illness and health department consultation Home Care Guidance and Home Isolation Guidance. If the patient were to develop new or worsening fever or respiratory illness the patient would be advised to call the clinic to determine if reevaluation is needed and if reevaluation is needed to call ahead and wear a facemask. As a reminder in general facemasks help to prevent the spread of germs rather than protection against germs.

While COVID-19 has a great deal of media attention and is a significant global public health crisis, influenza has caused significantly more morbidity and mortality this season alone with in the US.

The best way to help prevent spread of influenza COVID-19 and other respiratory illness is to avoid contact with droplets or secretions of saliva, mucus and tears.

Things that can help include the following:

· Minimize close contact with persons who have symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing or sneezing.

· Help ill persons contain droplets that result from their coughing or sneezing.

· Wash your hands regularly.

· Avoid sharing personal items such as eating or drinking utensils, toothbrushes, and towels. You should especially avoid sharing these items with sick persons.

Maintain a clean environment.


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