Two possible cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have been reported in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Health says the cases in question are two people who recently returned from Wuhan, China. Testing the cases to confirm the individuals are infected with the coronavirus will be done by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC.)
The virus has caused Chinese authorities to quarantine over 50 million people in over a dozen cities and is the largest quarantine in recorded history. Health officials believe the coronavirus was first transmitted to humans from animals in a wet market in Wuhan where dead and live animals are sold. Live animals are commonly slaughtered in the market in front of customers. This market is now reported to have been closed.
Another coronavirus known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) killed around 800 people between 2002 and 2004. SARS stemmed from another Chinese wet market.
The Minnesota Department of Health calls the risk to the public low and not nearly as infectious as the measles. To prevent infection, follow the same guidelines as the flu and cold. Practice good hand washing, cover your mouth when you cough and stay home when sick.
The Centers for disease control are investigating two-dozen possible infections in the United States. Some of these cases are likely to be found to be only cases of the flu or other respiratory illnesses.