Number of Adenovirus Cases in Pediatric Facilities Rise as Multiple Medical Centers in New Jersey Battle Outbreaks - NBC New York

Number of Adenovirus Cases in Pediatric Facilities Rise as Multiple Medical Centers in New Jersey Battle Outbreaks

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    What to Know

    • The fifth adenovirus pediatric case in a patient at the Voorhees Pediatric Facility in New Jersey was confirmed, health officials say

    • This latest development comes at a time when a number of pediatric facilities in the state are grappling with adenovirus outbreaks

    • New Jersey Department of Health is deploying a team of infection control experts and epidemiologists to five pediatric facilities

    Recent tests have confirmed another case of adenovirus in a patient at the Voorhees Pediatric Facility in New Jersey, bringing the total number of confirmed pediatric cases at that location to five, state health officials announced Monday. An additional confirmed case was also announced at another pediatric medical center that has seen over two dozen individuals infected.

    This latest development comes at a time when a number of pediatric facilities in the state are grappling with adenovirus outbreaks.

    While the exact strain of the adenovirus associated with the latest case at Voorhees will not be known for several days, Center for Disease Control and Prevention testing identified the strain in the first four cases at the Voorhees facility as Type 3 — a different strain from the one that caused the severe outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Passaic County, which has already claimed the lives of 10 pediatric patients.

    “The Department and local health partners have been working with the facility to provide infection control recommendations and identify other possible illnesses since the facility notified the Department of a case of adenovirus in a resident on October 26,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal.

    According to state health officials, the dates of the illness onset range between Oct. 20 and 29.

    Additionally, since the investigation into the outbreak is ongoing, lab tests could confirm more cases at Voorhees Pediatric Facility.

    Health officials say the facility has the capacity to safely and swiftly separate sick, exposed and well individuals into different areas and has implemented infection control measures such as cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces, and reinforcing handwashing techniques.

    Two inspectors with the Department’s Division of Health Facility Survey and Field Operations were at the facility on Oct. 30. Preliminary findings revealed no infection control issues, and no citations were issued.

    The latest updated number of confirmed cases at Voorhees comes on the heels of news that the New Jersey Department of Health is deploying a team of infection control experts and epidemiologists to five pediatric facilities, including the Voorhees Pediatric Facility and Wanaque Center.

    News broke over the weekend that a 10th child died at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Passaic County, the epicenter of an adenovirus outbreak that has killed and sickened dozens of kids in recent weeks.

    The Wanaque Center has, to date, 30 indicviduals, mostly kids with the exception of one worker, who were confirmed to have contracted the virus — a virus health officials have been tracking since the outbreak.

    The latest confirmed case at the Wanaque Center, thus elevating the number of those infected at the facility to 30, was announced Monday.

    Adenovirus is a family of viruses that can otherwise cause mild illness, but this outbreak has been described as "severe."

    The state’s Department of Health said it was informed of the outbreak on Oct. 9. State health officials later found handwashing discrepancies. The Wanaque center has been told not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance. It also established a 24/7 hotline for families impacted by what the state's health chief has called a "tragic" outbreak.

    Another facility the team will visit: University Hospital, where a possible bacterial infection in the neonatal intensive care unit may have contributed to the death of an infant. Health officials announced Thursday that the child in that case had died at the Newark facility on Oct. 1. That baby had compounding medical issues, though, so a cause of death remains under investigation.

    The other two facilities include Children’s Specialized Hospital locations in Toms River and Mountainside. The health department reached out to each of the five last week to schedule visits for November, officials said.

    The specialized multi-disciplinary team conducts voluntary, non-regulatory assessments of infection prevention practices and takes a collaborative approach to highlight and share what facilities are doing well and identify opportunities to improve, according to a news release. The assessments focus on prevention of health facility-acquired infections and breaches of infection control through adherence to best practices and state and federal requirements.