Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness in people and animals.

Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. Some human coronaviruses were identified many years ago and some have been identified recently. Human coronaviruses commonly cause mild to moderate illness in people worldwide.

Two newer human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have been known to frequently cause severe illness.

An investigation is ongoing related to an outbreak of a new coronavirus, COVID-19. For the latest information about the COVID-19 outbreak, visit our Outbreaks and Investigations webpage.

For weekly case count updates of all respiratory viruses in Wisconsin, please see the Weekly Respiratory Virus Surveillance Report, P-02346 (PDF).

Adult in a laboratory adjusting a microscope

What are the symptoms?

Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives.

These illnesses usually only last for a short amount of time. Symptoms may include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • A general feeling of being unwell

What you can do

If you have traveled to Wuhan China and have a fever, cough, and shortness of breath within 14 days from travel, contact your health care provider by phone (prior to presenting to the clinic or emergency department) as soon as possible and let them know about your recent travel before you visit.

To avoid getting the virus and spreading this or any other respiratory diseases, wash your hands with soap and water, cover your cough, and stay home if you are sick.

Get a flu shot. Flu can be very dangerous to children, older adults, and those with compromised immune systems.

Information for providers

COVID-19 was declared a Category I reportable disease by the State Epidemiologist per a memo issued on Feb. 4, 2020.

Recommendations for providers can be found on the CDC website.

Questions about the coronavirus? Contact us!
Phone: 608-267-9003 | Fax: 608-261-4976

Last Revised: February 19, 2020