Although 10 cases of enterovirus D68 have been reported in five Wisconsin counties, no cases have been confirmed in Waupaca County.
Waupaca County Health Officer Terri Brooks said her office would notify schools, daycares and the community if a case of enterovirus D68 is confirmed in the county.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), all 10 of the patients with enterovirus D68 recovered and have been released from the hospital.
“The symptoms for the enterovirus D68 are similar to a severe cold including coughing, sneezing, runny nose, congestion and wheezing,” Brooks told the Waupaca County Post.
Brooks described enerovirus D68 as a respiratory illness that spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches another person or surface. She said people with asthma are at a higher risk of catching the disease.
Infants, children and teenagers are more likely to get the virus than adults, the DHS says.
Infected people generally recover without complications.
However, those with weakened immune systems or asthma may experience more severe symptoms and require hospitalization.
There is no vaccine or specific treatment for enterovirus D68.
“The most important prevention strategy is the use of good handwashing hygiene,” Brooks said.
She noted that the virus is less susceptible to alcohol-based hand sanitizers as it is to 20 seconds of handwashing with soap, water and friction.
“A second prevention method is to stay home when you are sick to limit the spread of the virus,” Brooks said.
Abuot two dozen more samples from suspected enterovirus D68 cases in Wisconsin have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing.
More than 500 cases have been confirmed nationwide.
So far, entirovirus D68 has been linked to the death of one child, a 4-year-old boy in New Jersey. Health officials in Texas have also confirmed that the disease partially paralyzed an 11-year-old boy.