Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Rehabilitation Center Leaves 6 Children Dead

Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Rehabilitation Center Leaves 6 Children Dead Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Rehabilitation Center Leaves 6 Children Dead
Anna Jefferson | 24 October, 2018, 02:58

The New Jersey Department of Health confirmed that a total of 18 children with compromised immune systems were infected with adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell.

"The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe", health officials said.

Inspectors from the Department of Health have visited the center and are providing infection control and cleaning procedures.

Officials have instructed the center not admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance.

Adenoviruses are prolific viruses that can cause a variety of illnesses, including upper respiratory infections - such as colds - as well as pneumonia, gastrointestinal illness, conjunctivitis (pink eye) and even urinary tract infections.

The Center acts as a nursing home, rehabilitation center and pediatric center, offering short- and long-term care, according to its website.

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"The combination of a worse strain of adenovirus together with a fragile population has led to a more severe outbreak", the department said.

"As a result, facility staff have diligently implemented all available infection control and prevention measures in order to protect the health and safety of the Wanaque Center's residents", center officials said.

Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement that he was "heartbroken" about the deaths and that he had been briefed by the health commissioner, Dr. Shereef Elnahal, who told him that the department is on site and trying to prevent the virus from spreading further.

The viruses can be spread through close personal contact, coughing and sneezing or touching contaminated objects.

A voice mail message left for the director of nursing at the Wanaque Center on Tuesday was not immediately returned.

A scientific paper cited by the CDC reported that a 1998 outbreak of type 7 adenovirus at a pediatric chronic-care facility in Chicago claimed the lives of eight patients.

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