Coronavirus concerns clear store shelves; Wisconsin remains at low risk
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58/AP) — The coronavirus has infected nearly 100,000 people around the world and killed 3,300. It's leading to growing alarm that's resulted in mass bulk buying around the world, and even here in Milwaukee.
"I feel that it is sensible to be aware but mass panic isn't warranted at this time," said Dr. Jorge Ramallo, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center.
Over at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, Dr. Jorge Ramallo says not a day goes by a patient doesn't call asking if they're at risk or have the coronavirus.
He says there are a lot of misconceptions about the virus and ways to prevent it.
"I know there are a lot of people rushing to the grocery stores and actually trying to get masks and all that thing, but we don’t think that’s necessary at this time," said Dr. Ramallo.
Masks are back ordered for every store nationwide, but Dr. Ramallo says the coronavirus particle is so small, it penetrates all store-bought versions.
Store shelves at a local Menards, Pick 'N Save, and Target on Friday, were wiped clean of hand sanitizer.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said there's no need to stockpile products but it is helpful to have a plan.
"A two week supply of food and water, one to months of prescription medications, and necessary medical supplies for your family members and pets," said Traci DeSalvo, DHS communicable disease epidemiology section chief.
If you have not been able to get your hands on any hand sanitizer, don't worry. Dr. Ramallo says soap and water work just as well.
The DHS has gotten new guidance from the CDC on who and what to test, so that could mean the number of pending cases will rise but doesn't mean they're all potential cases of the coronavirus. They just want to cast a wider net than they're currently testing for.
As of Friday, only one person in Dane County had tested positive for COVID-19. They recovered at home and are no longer in isolation.
Thirty-one people have tested negative and 12 tests are pending. Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 100,000 people and killed over 3,400, the vast majority of them in China.