ROCHESTER, Minn. - As researchers worldwide scramble to find a vaccine against the coronavirus that’s already killed at least 560 people in China, the U.S. is closely monitoring 12 confirmed cases domestically.
Wisconsin confirmed its first case of the coronovirus on Wednesday. A man tested positive at a Madison hospital. He’s currently in isolation.
In Iowa there are two possible cases being monitored. However, even with both states bordering Minnesota, Olmsted County Public Health director Graham Briggs says it’s unlikely the virus will spread locally.
Briggs did add there is protocol in place just in case saying, “If a person says they've been in that area of China or if they're showing these different symptoms and it spells out what you should be looking for and if you find that give us a call and we'll help coordinate getting testing done.”
He does say the flu is still a greater risk to the community.
“Flu is a much bigger concern as far as I can tell as a health director in this community,” he added. “That's because we're not seeing human to human transmission being sustained associated with these cases that we've seen particularly in the Midwest.”
As far as prevention Olmsted County says you can wear a surgical mask but your best options include washing your hands often, using hand sanitizer, covering your mouth when you cough, staying home if you’re sick and keeping your hands away from your face.
At this point current data shows the death rate from the coronavirus is about 2-percent.