Series: The Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 And Wisconsin
Billions of people around the world are closer to one another through an unprecedented network of connections, from commerce to tourism to education. One risk posed by this growing number of links, fueled by denser populations and swifter travel, is the speed at which infectious diseases can race across continents and leap over oceans. A novel coronavirus originating in China is an example of this phenomenon. Barely more than a month after the SARS-CoV-2 virus was identified, an infected patient was confirmed in Wisconsin, with many hundreds more cases confirmed in subsequent weeks. The emerging disease called COVID-19 has tested Wisconsin's public health infrastructure as the state's public officials, health care providers and residents respond to the global pandemic. The crisis has also underscored how more common respiratory diseases like influenza challenge health authorities and the public.