LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Area hospitals are taking action to prevent a respiratory illness that's made hundreds of children in more than ten states sick.
Enterovirus 68 is a strain in a family of viruses that typically comes during the summer through fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it likely spreads from person to person contact.
It can also cause cold like symptoms. So far the virus hasn't been reported in Wisconsin or Minnesota.
Mayo Clinic Health System said it's been keeping an eye out for respiratory illnesses that come in. Gundersen Health System said it thinks it will need to start preparing for an influx of patients.
There isn't a vaccine for Enterovirus 68, but it can be prevented with frequent hand washing, keeping surfaces clean and avoiding touching your eyes, face or mouth.
“It will probably come to Wisconsin so the big thing is that we all work together as a medical community and making sure that we're ready and that we're aware,” said Mayo Clinic Health System infectious diseases R.N. Traci Kokke.
“I think it is just a matter of time. Enteroviruses are easily spread, because it's very dependent upon a person's hygiene and sanitation practices, and we're always challenged by those two factors,” said Gundersen Health System infection preventionist Marilyn Michels.
If you have a severe respiratory infection, you should contact your doctor.
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Health officials say there's no evidence that a severe respiratory illness that has sickened hundreds of children in more than 10 states has been found in Wisconsin.
The illness may be caused by an uncommon virus similar to the germ that causes the common cold. Enterovirus 68 is a strain in a family of viruses that typically hit from summertime through autumn.
Although no cases have been confirmed, Paul Biedrzycki of the Milwaukee Health Department says there's no reason to believe it isn't circulating here. He says health officials are "enhancing surveillance and getting messaging out to parents and health care providers to be looking for it."
Nearly 500 children have been treated at one hospital alone -- Children's Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri -- and some required intensive care.