Dangerous virus sweeping the Midwest

File photo

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Doctors are warning parents about a dangerous respiratory virus that’s spreading across most of the Midwest.  It’s called Enterovirus.  Hundreds of kids have been sent to the hospital because of it.

Although there have been no confirmed cases of Enterovirus 68 here in Indiana, one pediatric ER doctor says we’re not out of the woods yet.  She says there are some simple things you and your children should be doing now in case it does spread.

“Enterovirus the respiratory virus we’re seeing now causes fever, coughing, sneezing, your typical cold-like symptoms,” Susan Frayer M.D. at Lutheran Hospital said.

What starts off like the common cold is taking an odd turn: sending kids to the hospital because they suddenly have a hard time breathing.  Something Dr. Susan Frayer the Medical Director for the Pediatric Emergency Department at Lutheran Hospital says is not what they commonly see with Enterovirus.

“This particular strain is causing respiratory illnesses which is really unusual. It is actually causing some kids to be more sick with it. About 15 percent of the kids that are being admitted have to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.”

So far the Centers for Disease Control has confirmed cases in 10 states.
EnterovirusHitsMidwest_MapMost in the Midwest surrounding Indiana.

Since it’s a virus there’s something Dr. Frayer says everyone should be doing: properly washing their hands.

“It should be done year-round. Not just during flu season. That’s the number one way to prevent viral spread of illnesses.”

That’s something Fort Wayne Community Schools officials say they make sure their students and staff are doing to keep germs at bay.  On top of that, they say cleaning their facilities is just as important.

“As a school system the health and safety of our students is hands down the most important thing to us. So, we are very diligent about keeping our facilities extremely clean. We regularly clean touch points with a wide variety of germicides,” FWCS Spokesperson Melanie Hall said.

Health Department officials say you should be washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.  Of course if you’re sick stay home.

Comments are closed.