Virus outbreak kills 7 children in New Jersey
On Wednesday, a seventh child succumbed to an adenovirus outbreak in New Jersey. The long-term facility which housed patients are no longer willing to accept patients.
According to USA Today, the child was described as being "medically fragile." The city's health department directed the facility to reject new patients until the outbreak passes.
The New Jersey Department of Health released a statement saying that it "learned last night that unfortunately another child who was hospitalized due to adenovirus passed away yesterday."
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The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell saw six patients die following the first notice on October 9. 18 cases of the respiratory virus were confirmed in total.
The statement said further:
"The strain of adenovirus seen in this outbreak is associated with communal living arrangements and known to cause severe illness. The department continues to work very closely with the facility to ensure that all infection control measures are being followed. An outbreak investigation, with assistance from the CDC, is ongoing."
"Unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus [#7] in this outbreak is affecting medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems."
The health department sent two inspection teams to the rehabilitation center on Sunday and then on Tuesday.
The agency reported:
"The team on Sunday found minor hand-washing deficiencies and the Health Department is continuing to work closely with the facility on infection control issues. This is an ongoing outbreak investigation."
Debbie White, president of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union local, spoke out about staff shortages at the health facility.
The local, which represents 70 registered nurses, commented that these shortages "may lead to poor infection control practices that can put patient safety at risk."
Health department officials expressed outrage at the late release of the outbreak situation to the public.
Holly T Schepisi, an assemblywoman, said she was “shocked that it took several weeks for the public to become aware of an outbreak that resulted in multiple deaths of vulnerable children.”
Phil Murphy, the Governor of New Jersey said in a statement:
"I have been briefed by [the state health commissioner], who has assured me that the Department of Health has recommended vital measures to enhance protections against the further spread of infection and will continue its active on-site surveillance."
"I am confident that the steps being taken by state and local officials will minimize the impact to all those who remain at the facility, including patients and employees."
According to SA Health, such viruses "affect the breathing passage and cause respiratory illnesses such as a cold or flu-like illness."
Affected persons may suffer from influenza, "respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, rhinovirus, human metapneumovirus and enterovirus."
They are spread via small droplets in the air when persons speak, cough, or sneeze. They are also spread directly through skin contact and items soiled by the infection.
In September 2018, the nation saw an outbreak that affected 118 persons through 18 states.
The roundworm disease was said to have spread via puppies. It led to cramping and abdominal pain in victims.
Thankfully the number of hospitalized persons was relatively small compared to those infected. 26 people went to hospitals for treatment.
Unfortunately, the medication did not work for those more seriously affected. Authorities advised persons to drink lots of fluids if they have or believe they have the illness.
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