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Coronavirus could impact multiple industries

What is happening in China will affect us here too: Illnesses like the coronavirus could disrupt supply chains.

MINNEAPOLIS — A new case of the Coronavirus is confirmed here in the U.S. and it's in Madison, Wisconsin. 

Health officials aren't saying the age or gender of the person diagnosed. They also won't say where they are receiving treatment. 

RELATED: Wisconsin confirms first case of new coronavirus

While the total number of cases in the U.S. is growing, that pales in comparison to what's happening in China.

But what is happening in China will affect us here too.

Professor Karthik Natarajan has told his students illnesses like the coronavirus could disrupt the supply chain. Natarajan is a supply chain and operations professor at the  Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

"The first impact is on the products that you might use on a day to day basis. If the company that produces those are not able to get the products and put it on the shelf you might not be able to get access to those products," he said. 

He said the spread of the virus could impact distribution of generic versions of life saving medication. 

"The generics, a lot of the ingredients come from China. They are not produced there but the ingredients come from China," he said. "Many drugs are made in India but they rely on some ingredients from China. If the virus continues to spread, we could see disruptions in the supply of drugs consumed in the United States.” 

He also said companies like 3M, Medtronic and Hormel Foods could see disruptions with medical devices. 

"Think of face masks and other protective equipment and medical supplies necessary to respond to these outbreaks. There are a lot of Minnesota-based companies and a lot of US based companies that source out of Wuhan and China in general," he said. "Because of this outbreak factories might be closed and employees are not able to show up to work."

And, the impact goes beyond the supply of medication in the US. 

 "Hyundai has already stopped production. The auto industry is something that you should watch out for," he said. 

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