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COVID-19 | Coronavirus Updates

This page features news reports published by Milwaukee Independent about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on the local community.

Editorial Note: In light of the coronavirus health situation affecting Milwaukee and its unknown implications for the future, we will continue publishing daily as a beacon of information and education for the community. We are fortunate to have an adaptive style of journalism and production management system that puts us in a safe and responsible position. As such, we have decided to publish beyond our usual format when timely news and conditions better serve the public interest.

For medical resources, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 page or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. All editorial content published by Milwaukee Independent can be found at mkeind.com/COVID19. With a mission of transformative journalism, our staff is free from commercial bias and are not influenced by corporate interests, political affiliations, or a public preferences that rewards clicks with revenue. As an influential publication that provides Milwaukee with quality journalism, our award-winning photojournalism and features have helped to achieve a range of positive social impact that enriches our community. Please join our effort by entrusting us with your contribution. Your Support Matters – Donate Now

Q: What is a coronavirus?
A: It is a novel virus named for the crownlike spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to lung lesions and pneumonia.

Q: How contagious is the virus?
A: It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can travel through the air, enveloped in tiny respiratory droplets that are produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes.

Q: Where has the virus spread?
A: The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has sickened more than 170,400 in at least 140 countries and more than 6,600 have died. The spread has slowed in China but is gaining speed in Europe and the United States. World Health Organization officials said the outbreak qualifies as a pandemic.

Q: What symptoms should I look out for?
A: Symptoms, which can take between two to 14 days to appear, include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Milder cases may resemble the flu or a bad cold, but people may be able to pass on the virus even before they develop symptoms.

Q: How do I keep myself and others safe?
A: Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick and avoiding touching your face.

Q: How can I prepare for an outbreak?
A: Keep a 30-day supply of essential medicines. Get a flu shot. Have essential household items on hand. Have a support system in place for elderly family members.

Q: What if I’m traveling?
A: The State Department has issued a global Level 3 health advisory telling United States citizens to “reconsider travel” to all countries because of the worldwide effects of the coronavirus. This is the department’s second-highest advisory.

Q: How long will it take to develop a treatment or vaccine?
A: Several drugs are being tested, and some initial findings are expected soon. A vaccine to stop the spread is still at least a year away.