- The New Jersey Department of Health said seven children died and 11 others were ill from an outbreak of an adenovirus at the Wanaque Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Haskell.
- The announcement from the Department of Health comes days after health officials found “hand washing deficiencies” and “infection control issues” at the facility.
- The strain of adenovirus seen in the 18 children at the facility is type No. 7, and is associated with communal living arrangements.
The New Jersey Department of Health said 11 other children at the Wanaque Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Haskell remain ill from the outbreak of the virus, which commonly causes respiratory illness, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
The announcement from the Department of Health came days after health officials found “hand washing deficiencies” and “infection control issues” at the facility, which houses senior, rehabilitation and “medically fragile” pediatric patients,NBC News reported.
All seven deaths happened this month, Health Department spokeswoman Donna Leusner told the Associated Press. The children’s names and ages have not been made public.
The strain of adenovirus seen in the 18 children at the facility is called No. 7, and is associated with communal living arrangements.
Adenoviruses usually cause mild illness and infections of the respiratory tracts, eyes, intestines, urinary tracts, and nervous systems in young children. Other types of the virus can cause the common cold and pink eye.
People with weakened immune systems are at risk of contracting severe illnesses from adenoviruses.
The Department of Health is working with the New Jersey facility to ensure infection control measures are being followed, and the CDC has opened an investigation into the outbreak.
The facility has been instructed not to admit new patients until the outbreak ends.
Before this weekend, the facility had been cited for hand washing deficiencies, as well as improper storage of syringes, failure to disinfect surfaces and syringes properly and the unsanitary storage of oxygen tank tubing in 2016 and 2017, NBC reported.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement that he was “heartbroken” over the deaths and had been briefed by the state’s health commissioner.
“I am confident that the steps being taken by state and local officials will minimise the impact to all those who remain at the facility, including patients and employee,” Murphy said.
There is no public vaccine for adenoviruses. To prevent getting or spreading the viruses, the CDC recommends washing your hands often, staying home when you’re sick, and avoiding touching your mouth or eyes.
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