Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

2nd New Jersey care facility faces adenovirus outbreak: 3 things to know

2nd pediatric facility in New Jersey hit by viral outbreak 10th child dies from adenovirus outbreak at NJ medical facility
Delores Daniels | 05 November, 2018, 20:11

In addition, a staff member at the facility - who has since recovered - also became ill as part of the outbreak.

State health experts believe the children were exposed between September 26 and October 29, but symptoms can appear as many as 14 days after exposure.

In an inspection report released Tuesday, the Health Department revealed some hygiene and infection control deficiencies at the center.

Adenovirus usually poses little risk for healthy people.

"The pediatric patients in Voorhees do not have the severity of illnesses we're seeing among residents at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation", Shereef Elnahal, MD, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, told NJSpotlight. At least one of the victims was a young adult.

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In both cases, the children have not been identified because of privacy concerns, but most are under age 18 and have extremely fragile immune systems. It sometimes causes more serious respiratory illness, especially among those with weak immune systems.

Preliminary tests have ruled out the strain linked to the 10 deaths at the Wanaque facility.

Officials have said there is not a wider public health concern stemming from the outbreak.

The facility is not taking new patients until the outbreak is confirmed over.

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".

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"As a parent and as a legislator, I am absolutely horrified by the details that have emerged surrounding the viral outbreak at the Wanaque Center", said Assemblywoman Joann Downey, D-11th District and chair of the Human Services Committee, in a statement.

The outbreak appears to be confined to the facility's respiratory unit, he added. Other types of adenovirus infections can cause flu-like symptoms, pink eye and diarrhea.

The department says 27 cases have been associated with the respiratory virus at the centre.

"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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