NJ sending infection-control teams to pediatric centers

31 October, 2018, 06:56 | Author: Otis Hoffman
  • Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation

A sign for the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in New Jersey, where six children died from an outbreak of adenovirus.

A ninth child has died in an adenovirus outbreak at a New Jersey rehabilitation center, state health officials said Sunday.

A staff member who had fallen ill has since recovered from this strain of adenovirus, but the medically fragile children are the ones most vulnerable to the virus.

An eighth child's death on Friday afternoon was associated with the outbreak, Leusner said.

Adenovirus is a family of viruses that typically impact young children and usually cause only mild illness, according to the Health Department.

The health department said this week the facility had been "instructed not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance". Among the 25 children sickened, nine have died, the Health Department said.

Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said the first symptoms showed up September 26, and the state was notified of an outbreak October 9.

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The for-profit facility has a pediatric centre and also cares for elderly residents.

While noting that the adenovirus vaccine is only available for United States military personnel, the CDC said that to prevent the spread of the virus wash hands often, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and avoid close contact with people who have the virus. "The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe".

The department is continuing to investigate the outbreak.

This remains the last day when a patient showed new symptoms.

The Health Department says an inspection team found "minor handwashing deficiencies", and they continue to work closely with the nursing and rehab center on infection control issues.

"People know patients are being held prisoner, but they probably think they have bigger battles in public health to fight, so they just have to let this go", Sophie Harman, a global health expert at Queen Mary University of London, said.

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