There is still much unknown about this novel strain of the Coronavirus. Scientists with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said tests had shown the pneumonia-like virus was transmitted at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale market from animals to humans—zoonotic disease. This new strain of the Coronavirus disease 2019— (COVID-19)—had not previously been identified in humans. There are currently 7 strains of the Coronavirus that can affect humans, 4 of which have been around for a very long time. (These strains are among 200 or so viruses known to cause the common cold.) According to the CDC, this is the first pandemic known to be caused by the emergence of a new coronavirus. The last four pandemics were specific to influenza. It is uncertain how this pathogen will mutate among different populations, whether it will become a more virulent or mild form. Still, it is highly contagious.
It is important to follow all official recommendations: washing hands frequently: maintaining social distance when someone is coughing or sneezing; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; and covering your own nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing [to avoid droplet transmission]. If you have a fever, cough, or difficult breathing, seek medical attention. Testing is now available in Milwaukee and Madison, but it may take 1-2 days for results. While waiting for results, stay home.
It is important individuals keep informed on reliable websites as this, as described by the CDC, is “a rapidly evolving situation:”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) basic information page on COVID-19
World Health Organization (WHO) Recommendations for Protective Measures
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF INFECTION? [Golden Flower Chinese Herbs 3/5/20]
FEVER: In the vast majority of COVID-19 cases the first sign or symptom of an active infection is fever. Between 94% and 98% of infected patients get a fever, whether their case is mild or severe. In about half of the cases the peak temperature of the fever is between 100.5°F and 102°F. In about 30% of the cases the fever is even higher than 102°F; roughly 20% of cases have a very mild temperature.
COUGH: The second most common clinical feature of COVID-19 infection is cough. About ¾ of active cases develop cough. Most of the coughs are non-productive (little to no sputum). The cough typically develops 1-3 days after the fever, but there can be a lot of variation with the timing.
DYSPNEA: Dyspnea is difficult breathing. Over half the cases will develop dyspnea. In nearly every case of severe infection (when hospitalization is required) there will be dyspnea.
MYALGIA/FATIGUE: Myalgia refers to the type of body ache that is commonly seen with influenza. Fatigue can be quite pronounced. These two symptoms often appear together and are reported in a little less than half of the COVID-19 cases.