Eau Claire (WQOW) - The threat of the novel coronavirus spreading across the U.S. is no longer a question of if, but rather, when. That's according to CDC officials, who said Americans need to begin preparing for a pandemic.
In the U.S. there have only been 57 people diagnosed with coronavirus. In Wisconsin, there has been one confirmed case.
Eau Claire City-County health officials tell News 18 they are staying on top of CDC updates and have reviewed the county's emergency management plan for outbreaks.
"We are prepared to make sure that we're getting the information out to our area healthcare providers, around infection control, around guidance, safety, and testing," said Paulette Magur, the communicable disease division manager with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department. "[We're] making sure that we're looking at how we decrease big, large gatherings, if the time comes that that is necessary."
Magur added that it's important to be prepared but not panicked. She said the flu is still a much bigger threat in the U.S. than coronavirus.
She said the two are similar in the sense that you can prevent the spread by washing your hands, staying home if you're sick and reducing contact with people that are feeling under the weather.