The Department of Health is awaiting additional laboratory test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding four confirmed cases of adenovirus among pediatric patients at Voorhees Pediatric Facility in Voorhees. But, preliminary test results have ruled out Type 7, which caused the severe outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
“The pediatric patients in Voorhees do not have the severity of illnesses we’re seeing among residents at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation,” Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said. “While we cannot release private medical information, these patients in Voorhees are not in critical condition.” Dates of illness onset range between Oct. 20 and 27.
The Department, in conjunction with the Camden County Health Department, has 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 Oct. 26. “With any report of an outbreak of respiratory illness in a facility, public health officials collect data to confirm and characterize it as an outbreak,” Commissioner Elnahal said. “State and local public health officials have been working closely with Voorhees on this adenovirus outbreak.”
The Voorhees facility curtailed new admissions on Oct. 29 but is still accepting readmissions. The facility has the capacity to safely and swiftly separate sick, exposed and well individuals into separate areas. They implemented infection control measures such as cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces, and reinforcing appropriate handwashing techniques. The facility is also providing daily updates to public health officials regarding illnesses in the facility.
On Oct. 24, the facility sent out a general notification to all families who had children in the Voorhees facility about the Wanaque outbreak. Another letter issued today notified families of the outbreak at Voorhees and the prevention measures being taken. The facility said it will notify parents of any changes in the status of their children.
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.
In response to the adenovirus outbreak in Wanaque, a Department team of infection control experts and epidemiologists will visit the four pediatric long-term care facilities — which include Voorhees Pediatric Facility, Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, Children’s Specialized Hospital in Toms River and Mountainside — and University Hospital in Newark to conduct training and assessments of infection control procedures. These assessments are being scheduled for November.
The outbreak investigations at Voorhees and Wanaque are ongoing, and lab tests could confirm additional cases. When the Department receives additional test results, we will provide an update.
Adenovirus is a respiratory virus which can cause mild or serious illness, though serious illness is less common. Symptoms may include common cold, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, pink eye, fever, bladder inflammation or infection, inflammation of the stomach and intestines and neurological disease.
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about adenovirus.
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