Health officials in Marathon County are tracking down a medical mystery. A condition that seems like a cold but could cause organ failure.
Three people who happened to work in the same place came down with the same condition. Dale Grosskurth with the Marathon County Health Department says all they know is that it's sarcoidosis, a condition that mostly affects the lungs and lymph nodes. He says it's like small granules that collect and stick together in various organs.
The symptoms include a persistent dry cough with no phlegm, shortness of breath and enlarged lymph nodes. Grosskurth says no one seems to know how you get it. It's not contagious. Some people may not even notice the symptoms, but others may eventually suffer organ failure.
The three sick people all worked at the old, dusty and moldy Kmart store in Wausau that has since been torn down. So the county health department is trying to track down more than 450 former employees to see if they have symptoms too. But Grosskurth says tests on the building turned up nothing.
The Marathon County Health Dept. says the best information on sarcoidosis can be found at: www.nhlbi.gov Do a site search for sarcoidosis.