Over the past few weeks, my office has received a number of calls and letters from Wisconsinites expressing concern about the coronavirus, or COVID-19. I want to make sure everyone has access to accurate information and is prepared when it comes to combatting the spread of viruses, especially during cold and flu season.
COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and has since spread to other locations internationally, including the United States. The virus is thought to spread mainly through close contact with an infected individual, and through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and may appear two to 14 days after exposure. In response to the growing number of cases worldwide, the Centers for Disease Control has advised Americans to avoid non-essential travel to China, Italy, South Korea and Iran.
Staying informed on issues of public health is always important, but the immediate risk from COVID-19 is still considered low according to the CDC. Officials remain more concerned about the flu, which has already hospitalized between 310,000-560,000 Americans and even caused school closures here in Wisconsin. In order to combat the spread of viruses like COVID-19 and the flu, make sure you’re taking these preventive measures:
- Get your flu shot.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid coming into work if you are not feeling well.
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I will continue to closely monitor all developments related to COVID-19 and ensure that the federal government is working with state and local communities to keep Wisconsinites informed. For the most up-to-date and accurate information, please visit CDC.gov.
Democrat Ron Kind, La Crosse,
represents Wisconsin’s Third