Wisconsin's first confirmed coronavirus patient has recovered; 2 new cases pending

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- The first person in Wisconsin to test positive for coronavirus has safely recovered and is no longer in isolation.

Now, the Department of Health Services says two more people are being tested.

They have either shown symptoms of the disease or been in close contact with someone who has it.

Results are expected to come back Tuesday or Wednesday.

No information was given on the patients’ locations within the state.

Dr. Ryan Westergaard, an infectious disease specialist in UW-Madison’s Department of Medicine, says the mortality rate of coronavirus is lower than one percent.

"The level of risk to individuals who become infected seems to be a little lower than initially reported," he said.

Still, the CDC has encouraged Wisconsin’s DHS to shift to a higher state of preparedness, which includes helping the places that care for children.

"We're looking at developing guidance for schools, child care programs, colleges and universities to help them prepare and plan for pandemics,” said Jeff Phillips, the director of DHS’s Office of Preparedness and Emergency Health Care.

The Milwaukee Health Department is monitoring people in the city who have recently been to China.

No one being monitored has shown any of the fever or cough symptoms, although four people have voluntarily quarantined themselves.

Experts recommend what they call “social distancing” as one of many ways to keep healthy.

“Stay home when you’re sick,” Phillips said. “We look at quarantine, covering your coughs and sneezes, washing your hands.”

Doctors say coronavirus looks to be similar to the flu, especially in how it spreads.

Unlike the flu, there is no vaccine at this point.

As of Monday, the Milwaukee Health Department can test for coronavirus on site instead of sending out to a national lab.

Results could come back the same day if testing is needed.

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