Eighth child dies at New Jersey center hit by viral outbreak

31 October, 2018, 13:57 | Author: Cecil Davis
  • 9th child dies in adenovirus outbreak at NJ health facility, Health Department confirms

A ninth child has died in a New Jersey rehabilitation facility that is now suffering an adenovirus outbreak, according to officials.

The new diagnoses bring the total number of cases to 25.

At the hospital, the state health department earlier said it found four Acinetobacter baumannii cases since October 1. According to the worker, the facility had mold, dirty rooms, old and dusty equipment, and that bees would even occasionally fly into patients' rooms. In a statement by the union representing the 70 nursing staff at the facility, they state that they continue to work to contain the spread of the virus, to urge the management to provide adequate supplies so as to prevent cross contamination, and to advocate for stronger protocols in regard to infection control policies.

Health officials found minor hand-washing deficiencies at the facility during visits last week, and have been working with the center on infection-control issues, the health department said.

The bacterium can cause pneumonia or serious blood or wound infections. And for most patients, only home remedies and over-the-counter medicines to relieve symptoms are needed. And while a vaccine exists, it's available only to military recruits. An adult staff member also was infected, and that person has since recovered.

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She described this family of viruses as "environmentally hardy". These six types accounted for 85.5% of 1,497 laboratory-confirmed specimens reported during the time period.

And the viruses are still hard to diagnose since they're not typically included in a panel of tests used to identify specific viruses, according to Schaffner.

"People know patients are being held prisoner, but they probably think they have bigger battles in public health to fight, so they just have to let this go", Sophie Harman, a global health expert at Queen Mary University of London, said.

Adenoviruses, of which there are 52 different strains, are common causes of respiratory illnesses and most infections aren't severe, according to the CDC. "But they're not almost as serious as influenza".

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