UW Health Statement on First Reported Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Wisconsin

Source: UW Health, Madison, Wisconsin – On Thursday, January 30, 2020, a patient presented at the University Hospital emergency department. They had recently traveled to Beijing, China, and interacted with individuals from Wuhan, China, and presented with symptoms consistent with the virus upon their return to Madison.

Specimen samples were sent to the State Division of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and results came back positive on February 5. The case was reported to the state Department of Health Services immediately upon discovery.

Dr. Nasia Safdar, Medical Director of Infection Control at UW Health stated “UW Health has taken precautions, including ongoing staff training and recently expanding our travel history questions. Since initial treatment at University Hospital, the patient has been self-quarantined at home.”

The hospital has taken precautions and staff training is ongoing. Any patient demonstrating symptoms and travel history is immediately masked and put in a private room. Healthcare personnel entering the room wear appropriate head and body protection.

The main symptoms of the novel Coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Chinese authorities reported that the cause of this viral pneumonia was initially identified as a new type of coronavirus, different from any other human coronaviruses discovered so far. The source of this new virus is not yet known.

UW Health is coordinating with DHS, Public Health of Madison/Dane County and with the Centers for Disease Control.