Local hospitals on alert for mystery virus-- watch for breathing problems
(MILWAUKEE) - A rare strain of enterovirus, called D68, has local health officials on high alert. Dr. Angela Tonozzi, Director of Infection Prevention for Aurora Health Care, says she is monitoring the spread of the virus, and making sure care givers have the latest information on spotting it, and treating it. There is no cure, no vaccine, so hospitals give supportive care \"give the patient fluids, monitor them, supply them with oxygen as needed,\" Tonozzi said.
There are about one-hundred strains of Enterovirus, but D68 can land children in the Intensive Care Unit. Symptoms start out similar to the common cold, but quickly get worse. \"Ten to fifteen percent of the cases that they're seeing have required children to go into the ICU setting,\" Tonozzi said.
There are no confirmed cases in Wisconsin as of Monday, September 8. This strain is not a danger to adults, but Tonozzi says parents should be vigilant in watching their young children, look for problems breathing. \"The child has new wheezing-- so they've never wheezed before and are now wheezing... or the child has asthma and their inhaler or nebulizer is not helping them with the symptoms,\" Tonozzi said.