Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Children Dead, 11 Sick in Viral Outbreak at Rehab Center

Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Rehabilitation Center Leaves 6 Children Dead Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Rehabilitation Center Leaves 6 Children Dead
Steve Townsend | 24 October, 2018, 22:28

At least six children died from an adenovirus outbreak at a pediatric medical center in New Jersey, officials confirmed Tuesday.

A day earlier, state health officials confirmed the outbreak of cases of adenovirus at the center in Haskell in Passaic County.

The facility was instructed not to admit new patients until the outbreak ends, and the Health Department said the number of new cases appeared to be decreasing.

In New Jersey, a team was at the centre Tuesday and Sunday and found "minor handwashing deficiencies", the Health Department said.

The children involved have "severely compromised immune systems" rendering them more susceptible to the virus, the health department said.

Adenoviruses typically cause mild illnesses but the children affected are "medically fragile", officials said.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an email that no one was available to comment on how unusual it is for six adenovirus deaths in such a population of patients.

It's unclear what caused the viral outbreak, which is being investigated by the CDC. Adenoviruses tend to be spread by coughing and sneezing, direct contact with an infected person, or touching objects and surfaces, such as door handles and light switches, where adenoviruses can live and remain infectious for days or weeks.

Here's what to know about adenovirus - and the particular strain that's behind the outbreak in New Jersey.

The CDC said in an email that it is providing technical assistance to the state.

According to officials, they first learned of the outbreak back on October 9 and have been in communication with the rehabilitation center ever since. Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation is a 227-bed facility that received a "below average" rating in its 2017 health inspection report, NJ.com reported.

The young child's death was the seventh death associated with the outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. Health officials are working with the center on infection control issues. The center has pledged to cooperate fully with the investigation, and has solicited medical guidance on the virus, the AP reported. The rehab facility is now not admitting any new patients.

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