Coronavirus: US confirms its 12th case in Wisconsin, patient recently visited Beijing

Amid evacuations of US citizens from China, CDC maintains that for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV is considered low at this time


                            Coronavirus: US confirms its 12th case in Wisconsin, patient recently visited Beijing
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Wisconsin has confirmed its first coronavirus case, which brings the total number of confirmed cases in the US to 12. The Wisconsin patient, who had recently visited Beijing, was exposed to cases while in China, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).

“The patient is an adult with a history of travel to Beijing, China, prior to becoming ill and was exposed to known cases while in China. The individual is isolated at home and is doing well. Out of respect for the privacy of the patient and their household, this is the only information that is available,” reads the DHS statement

The other cases have been confirmed in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington.

This photo provided by the Department of Defense shows empty lodging facilities at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The Department of Defense says it is providing temporary lodging support for up to 1,000 passengers being evacuated from China to the US. (Todd Holly/U.S. Air Force via AP)

The DHS, UW Hospital and Clinics, the local health department, and the CDC are working together to prevent disease transmission by evaluating close contacts of the patient and healthcare personnel who cared for the patient.

“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 State Health Officer Jeanne Ayers. 

Ayers added: “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.”

According to the CDC, 206 cases have been declared negative so far in the US, and test results of over 70 are currently pending.

The CDC maintains that for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV is considered low at this time. The agency, however, cautions that more cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the US. 

This illustration provided by the CDC shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). (CDC via AP, File)

On January 27, 2020, CDC issued updated travel guidance for China, recommending that travelers avoid all non-essential travel to China.

The US government has taken strict travel-related measures in response to the growing public health threat posed by this new coronavirus. This includes suspension of entry in the US of foreign nationals who have visited China within the past 14 days.

Steps to detect this virus among those who are allowed entry into the US -- US citizens, residents, and family and who have been in China within 14 days -- are also being implemented. According to the new rules, any US citizen who has traveled in China within the last two weeks is being routed to 11 designated airports for health screenings. Those who have been in Hubei province will be subject to a mandatory quarantine.

Meanwhile, two planes carrying about 350 Americans evacuated from Wuhan arrived in the US early on Wednesday. They will be quarantined for 14 days at two military bases. Other planes carrying Americans from Wuhan are expected to arrive on Thursday at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska, where they will be quarantined, reports AP.

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.