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“Breakdown in Minutes” led to fatal adenovirus outbreak, “said the official

Lawmakers in New Jersey held a hearing a week to search for answers after 11 children died of an outbreak…

Lawmakers in New Jersey held a hearing a week to search for answers after 11 children died of an outbreak of adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. More than 30 children were infected at the North New Jersey plant, which cares for seriously ill children whose compromised immune systems make them particularly vulnerable.

A study by the New Jersey Department of Health found that there were problems with hand washing and other sanitation procedures among staff.

“It was a breakdown not only in communication but there was a breakdown in following the protocols to take care of these very medically fragile children,” New Jersey State Senator Joe Vitale, who led this week’s hearing, told CBSN .

Reports from government inspectors describe employees at Wanaque Center “Moving from patient to patient, changing gloves, do not wash hands, handling equipment before they even take care to clean up and potentially pass bacteria on from children to children to children”, says Vitale.

Adenovirus is a family of viruses that account for about 5 to 1

0 percent of f evers in young children. A person can become infected with adenovirus at any age and it can cause a range of diseases, from mild to severe. Most people get sick from adenovirus recovery after a few days, but people with weakened immune systems or existing respiratory or heart disease have a higher risk of developing severe complications from an infection.

The outbreak at Wanaque Center began on September 26th. The facility did not report to the state health department 13 days later. State Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal says he was informed 10 days after it, 19 October when five children had already died.

At the hearing, Elnahal announced that he had created a new policy requiring the health commissioner and his principal officer to be notified immediately of any outbreaks of pediatric deaths.

The owners of Wanaque Center did not participate in the hearing and said it was not the “appropriate setting” to discuss the outbreak. “

” For other reasons, our legal obligations to protect patient integrity under the federal HIPAA statue and the limitations of our ability to discuss our patients and their care would not allow us to provide much information the committee would seek, “said the facility in a statement.

Vital said officials work to ensure that similar outbreaks do not occur in the future.

“I do not think it is possible to eliminate any bad outcome for a child who is so medical compromise and fragile” he said. “Everything can happen. But to have the strongest possible actions in place where you have enforcement all the time and leadership, quality and infection control are paramount and at all times all the time. “

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