For the first time since Jan. 27, when the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced five state residents had been tested for the new coronavirus from China, no test results are pending, health officials said Wednesday.
Of 15 people tested for the virus in Wisconsin, all have been negative except for a Dane County resident who last week was reported to have the virus, the state health department said.
Additional people who traveled to China or came into contact with an infected person and developed symptoms could still require testing, and officials said last week they wouldn’t be surprised if Wisconsin sees more positive cases. But as of Wednesday, no suspect cases were awaiting test results.
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Thursday will mark two weeks since Jan. 30, when the Dane County person was evaluated and tested at UW Hospital’s emergency room before beginning isolation at home. The person returned to Dane County Regional Airport that day after traveling to Beijing and immediately went to the ER, officials said.
Health officials have said the new coronavirus, now called COVID-19, appears to have an incubation period of two to 14 days. If that is accurate, people who were in close contact with the Dane County case before the person’s isolation began would be expected to have developed symptoms.
Since COVID-19 emerged late last year in Wuhan, China, more than 45,000 cases and more than 1,100 deaths have been reported, mainly in China but also in two dozen other countries.
Meanwhile, seasonal influenza activity remains high in most of the United States, including Wisconsin, which has reported 30 deaths from flu since October.
Flu vaccine is still available to protect against flu. Otherwise, the best way to prevent COVID-19, flu and other respiratory illnesses is summed up on the state health department’s website: “Wash your hands, cover your coughs, and if you are sick stay home.”