New Jersey viral outbreak leaves six young patients dead, 12 others ill

24 October, 2018, 09:28 | Author: Cynthia Curry
  • Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Rehabilitation Center Leaves 6 Children Dead

The New Jersey State Department of Health confirmed 18 cases of adenovirus among pediatric residents at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, N.J., including the six deaths.

Adenoviruses are the cause of everyday infections like the common cold, bronchitis, pink eye and respiratory tract infections, but the highly contagious viruses can be much more risky to people with already compromised immune systems. "The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe".

Health officials said the center has been barred from admitting new patients until the outbreak is cleared and "they are in full compliance".

Inspectors from the Department of Health visited the facility on Sunday and found "minor handwashing deficiencies". A team was sent back Tuesday.

Adenoviruses are part of a group of viruses that can infect the membranes or tissue lining of the respiratory tract, eyes, intestines, urinary tract and nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was not clear when the children died, and there was no information provided on their ages.

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"The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation has recently experienced some cases of the Adenovirus in its pediatric unit". Symptoms can range from a sore throat and fever to intestinal inflammation and neurological disease. Health officials are working with the centre on infection control issues.

According to a Department of Health release, state officials began investigating on Sunday and continued on Tuesday.

Wanaque was also one of the subjects of a $50 million lawsuit earlier this year, when the estate of a 75-year-old Alzheimer's patient accused staff at the facility, as well as local police, of negligence and recklessness, NorthJersey.com reports.

The center helps educate "medically fragile children", according to its website.

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