Skip to main content
University of Wisconsin–Madison

What do we know about COVID-19?

The first confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States appeared in January. At the time, the world knew almost nothing about how the virus spreads or how to treat it. Six months later, our knowledge has grown, but researchers continue to make discoveries almost daily.

A coronavirus is the name for a large set of illnesses, including the common cold and other respiratory infections. The term “novel” coronavirus means it’s a new form of the virus.

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), portrayed in an illustration created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), portrayed in an illustration created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM

According to the CDC:

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has spread throughout the world.

COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness.

You can become infected by coming into close contact (about 6 feet or two arm lengths) with a person who has COVID-19. COVID-19 is primarily spread from person to person.

You can become infected from respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

You may also be able to get it by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

What is UW–Madison’s role in discovery?

UW–Madison researchers are on the front lines of COVID-19 research.Visit https://research.wisc.edu/uw-madison-research-community-responds-to-covid-19/ to learn more about research studies underway on campus.

Manuscripts and news about COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 virus:

 

“We’re learning as we go,” says Steve Ackerman, UW–Madison vice chancellor for research and graduate education.. “This is no time to take our foot off the pedal. We have learned a lot, but there’s still a lot we don’t know.”