Nine children have been reported to have been killed in a New Jersey care home during the past week, at…
The ninth victim, described as “medically fragile respiratory disease” at Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, died late on a night in a hospital, said state health care in a statement. It is waiting for laboratory confirmation of adenovirus in a child who died on Friday.
The virus is known to continue on unclean surfaces and medical devices and can not be eliminated by common disinfectants, but they rarely lead to serious illness in healthy people. Those with weakened immune systems, however, have a higher risk of serious illness and may remain infectious long after they recover, say US disease control and prevention centers. They are common in places with large children’s groups, such as childcare institutions, schools and summer camps.
There are 25 confirmed pediatric adenovirus cases at Wanaque, including the death of eight children. The confirmed cases became ill between 26 September and 22 October. An employee also became ill but has recovered, the health department said.
The health department said this week that the plant had been given the “mission not to recognize any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance.”
The time of death is not clear. The health department was notified of respiratory disease in the center on October 9th. Wanaque sent parents to children at the facility letter of infection on October 1
9, according to the health department.
On Tuesday, the New Jersey Department of Health announced the death of six pediatric residents at the center and the infection of another 12 inhabitants. Wednesday’s department announced a further child’s death.
Department said there is an active outbreak investigation and laboratory tests can confirm additional cases.
A team on the plant on Sunday found less hand washing deficiencies.
The department continues to work very closely with the facility to ensure that all infection control measures are followed, the Wanaque plant said in a statement Wednesday.
The children’s ages are not released to protect the patient’s integrity, says Nicole Kirgan, a spokesman for the health department. They varied in age “from a child through young adults, but most are under 18 years old.”
The outbreak, caused by adenovirus type 7, “affects medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems. The strain has been particularly associated with diseases in municipal living arrangements and may be harder,” according to the health department.
In a statement, the plant said it “promptly notified all appropriate authorities when the virus was originally identified.”
“Wanaque Center continues to collaborate fully with these agencies and has sought out its medical guidance on the virus,” said plant. “As a result, civil servants have carefully implemented all available infection control and prevention measures to protect the health and safety of the Wanaque Center residents.”
Nurses at the facility had previously reported a lack of healthcare staff and deliveries, according to a statement from the union representing healthcare professionals. Healthcare and Allied Employees (HPAE) said the shortcomings could have led to “poor infection control practices”.
The union said it represents the 70 nurses working at Wanaque.
In a review of the government centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Wanaque was awarded an above average ranking in overall quality but received an under-average health inspection rating. Based on an inspection conducted in August, CMS reported that “it was decided that the facility failed to provide a clean and secret physical environment for its residents.”
“Adenovirus usually produces flu-like diseases with cough and runny nose and feeling crumbling, but you get better, “says Dr. William Schaffner, a contagious specialist at Vanderbilt University, previously told CNN. “But they can also cause conjunctivitis and especially in children, diarrhea.”
In rare cases among people with weakened immune systems, the virus can cause pneumonia or inflammation of the brain and tissues around it. In extremely rare cases an adenovirus infection may result in death.
Most adenovirus infections are mild, with symptoms usually lasting about 10 days, according to CDC. And for most patients, only home remedies and prescription drugs are needed to relieve symptoms.
The virus, unlike influenza, is not seasonal and can cause disease throughout the year. And while a vaccine is available, it is only available for military recruits.
The virus is also “resistant to many common disinfectants and can remain infectious for long periods of environmental and medical devices,” says CDC. They tend to spread through coughing and sneezing, direct contact with an infected person, or touching objects and surfaces, such as door handles and light switches, where the viruses can live and remain infectious for days or weeks.
The virus can “Stable stable at room temperature for weeks” on unclean surfaces, according to Dr. Alex Valsamakis, Head of Clinical Virology and Molecular Microbiology and Professor of Pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
She described this family of viruses as “environmentally hardened”.
“Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face,” she told CNN earlier. “It’s kind of the easiest way to prevent accidental transport of something from your fingers to your nose or mouth.”
The infections “usually occur sporadically – this is a case where a fall – such an outbreak pretty cute,” Schaffner said.
From 2003 to 2016, the two most commonly reported adenovirus types in the US were type 2 and 3, but four additional types – 1, 4, 7 and 14 – also caused disease, according to a report from 2017 from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease at CDC. These six types accounted for 85.5% of 1,497 laboratory confirmed samples reported during the period.
This small number of cases is believed to be an underrepresentation of the actual number, since most people who get sick do not go to a doctor or their doctor does not test for this virus.
And the viruses are still difficult to diagnose because they are not typically included in a panel of tests used to identify specific viruses, according to Schaffner. He said this is changing, and therefore he believes that the number of cases will rise.
Although Schaffner does not believe that people need to worry about adenovirus.
“They mainly cause a whole lot of less troublesome infections spread by children, often from child to adult,” he said. “But they are not nearly as serious as the flu.”