A second outbreak of the adenovirus has been reported and confirmed at a long-term care facility for children in Voorhees, New Jersey. This strain of adenovirus has been identified as Type 3, different than the Type 7 strain that has infected 30 patients and killed 10 at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
The New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) announced on November 5th that the adenovirus was found at the Voorhees Pediatric Facility, and four children have contracted the illness. Two inspectors from the DOH’s Division of Health Facility Survey and Field Operations visited the facility on October 30, and their preliminary findings revealed no infection control issues and no citations were issued.
The Voorhees Pediatric Facility has voluntarily halted any new admissions for the time being.
The Voorhees Pediatric Facility is owned by a for-profit corporation, Forkid Care. The facility describes itself as the largest freestanding pediatric ventilator-dependent program in the country.
According to the DOH, the center as able to “safely and swiftly separate sick, exposed and well individuals into separate areas.” This is a recommended step to stop the spread of adenovirus, which is a particularly aggressive strain of virus that can linger on unclean surfaces and medical instruments for long periods of time, and may not be eliminated by common disinfectants.
Adenoviruses are often spread by touching a contaminated person or surface, or through the air by coughing or sneezing. For people with healthy immune systems, contracting an adenovirus will rarely result in severe illness. However, children and adults with weakened immune systems have a higher risk of an adenovirus developing into severe symptoms, and additionally may remain contagious long after they recover.
The DOH has announced that teams from their department will be visiting the four pediatric long-term care facilities in New Jersey, which include the Voorhees Pediatric Facility and the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, to discuss infection-control practices and the spread of disease. The other two facilities are branches of Children’s Specialized Hospital in Toms River and Moutainside.
A DOH team will also being visiting University Hospital in Newark, where a bacterial outbreak in their neonatal intensive care unit resulted in the death of a premature infant.
Stark & Stark’s Medical Malpractice team has handled many cases where patients have suffered due to an outbreak or infection at a hospital or other care facility. If you or a loved one were injured due to a facility’s error or neglect, it is strongly recommended that you seek experienced counsel immediately. Click here for more information about our MedMal practice.