Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

10th death reported at Wanaque Center; assemblywoman demands probe

2nd pediatric facility in New Jersey hit by viral outbreak 10th child dies from adenovirus outbreak at NJ medical facility
Anna Jefferson | 05 November, 2018, 20:13

Most of the patients who died were children who used wheelchairs and breathed with the help of ventilators at the Wanaque Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation in Haskell, Passaic County. The affected children had severely compromised immune systems. At least one of the victims was a young adult.

To date, the individuals associated with the outbreak became ill between September 26 and October 29.

New Jersey Health officials previously said Wanaque was cited in 2016 and 2017 for washing deficiencies, improper storage of syringes, failure to disinfect surfaces and other issues. Symptoms - including the common cold, sore throat, bronchitis, diarrhea, pink eye and fever - usually appear two to 14 days after a child is exposed to the virus. But it can be serious in people with weakened immune systems, like those at the centre.

The facility announced it will not admit new residents for the duration of the outbreak.

New Jersey health officials report a 10 medically fragile child confirmed to have the adenovirus infection has passed away.

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Health officials linked the outbreak to the virus strand adenovirus 7 - most commonly associated with acute respiratory disease and can occur at any time throughout the year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, on Tuesday the department said in a statement that an unannounced inspection October 21 found that "the facility had deficiencies that did not indicate substandard care was delivered".

The state also said there are four confirmed adenovirus cases among pediatric patients at Voorhees Pediatric Facility, near Philadelphia, but preliminary tests have ruled out it's the same strain affecting Wanaque.

"It can be hard to impossible to know how the virus got to the facility, what its source was, or what its specific mechanism of spread is from person to person", Elnahal said.

"The strain of adenovirus seen in this outbreak is associated with communal living arrangements and known to cause severe illness", the state health department said.

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