A sad story from New Jersey has gripped the nation and left many saddened. Six minors have reportedly died. Their death was as a result of adenovirus in Haskell, New Jersey. The incident happened at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
Since the incident, the nursing and rehabilitation center has been ordered not to admit any new patients. The order came from the health department and is set to be in effect until the center is in full cooperation, and the situation is contained.
There is, however, some mystery as to the timing of the death. According to Nicole Kirgan, a staffer at the Jersey Department of Health, the health department was made aware of the respiratory illness at the center on the 9th of October. Ten days later, parents who had children in the center received a letter notifying them about the issue. On Tuesday, six pediatrics had been reported to have died from the virus. On Wednesday, the health department cited one more child had succumbed.
The Jersey health department is still carrying out investigations as to how the virus would have spread to this extent. So far, they have found minor irregularities in the handwashing areas. The investigation is still ongoing, and more errors are expected to be found.
Due to patient privacy concerns, Kirgan said they could not release the names or ages of the children. She did, however, confirm all the seven deaths were of minors varying from toddlers to young adults.
Adenoviruses can cause both mild and severe illnesses. However, serious illnesses are rare and uncommon. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the people who have a higher risk of developing serious illnesses from adenoviruses are those with cardiac disease or existing respiratory illnesses.
According to the health department, the type of adenovirus responsible for the outbreak is type seven. This particular strain thought of to be more severe than the others. It is also thought of to emanate from communal living arrangements. The strain is affecting children who have compromised immune systems and are thus fragile.
The center has since released a statement. In the statement, they claim to have notified the relevant authorities as soon as they identified the virus. Previously, nurses at the center had complained of nursing staff shortage. According to HPAE – Health Professionals and Allied Employees, the staff shortage may have contributed to the virus outbreak.
Adenoviruses are notorious for having influenza-like symptoms. Some of the symptoms are feeling crummy, a persistent cough, and a runny nose. In children particularly, the virus can cause diarrhea and conjunctivitis. In sporadic incidents, the virus can also lead to inflammation of brain tissues and the brain itself, as well as pneumonia. If undetected and left for long, the infections could lead to death. However, such cases are very rare.
To avoid getting infected, you just need to observe good hygiene. Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your mouth or nose with dirty hands. That said, it is important to mention adenovirus cases occur sporadically, and an outbreak is very rare. The statistics on the virus are scanty as it is not included in the typical panel test for identifying specific viruses.