The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is confirming the first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus that has been in the news in recent weeks. In a press release from the WI DHS, the first case of the disease was identified and confirmed in a joint effort of the WI DHS, UW Hospital and Clinics, the local health department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The individual is an adult "with a history of travel to Beijing, China prior to becoming ill and was exposed to known cases while in China." Health officials say the patient is isolated at home, and is doing well - dealing with mild symptoms. Further information about the identification of the patient is not being shared by health officials in the interest of respecting the privacy of the patient and their household. WAOW TV reports that the patient's testing was conducted at the UW-Madison hospital in Madison, but it has not been stated where the person lives.

Officials with the WI DHS say that the risk to the general public remains low, and the DHS, CDC, and other medical professionals involved in the case are working together to prevent further transmission of the virus. State Health Officer Jeanne Ayers explained that all involved are "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." Ayers went on to reinforce that public risk of getting sick from the 2019 novel coronavirus in Wisconsin remains very low.

The WI DHS has a resource page with information about outbreaks and investigations in the state, which identifies a total of 10 people who have been involved in investigations related to the illness. Of those 10, 7 cases proved to be negative, and two remain pending. This case announced today is the first confirmed case.

Wisconsin health officials share that symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, which may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after someone is exposed to the virus. Symptoms have ranged from a mild illness (like a common cold) to severe pneumonia requiring hospitalization. They are encouraging travelers returning from China or contacts of patients with a confirmed case who become ill to let their health care providers know of their possible exposure before arriving at the health care facility.

For more information about the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the 2019-nCoV coronavirus, you can visit their landing page here.

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