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New Jersey Department of Health Investigates Adenovirus Outbreak

OCT 24, 2018 | MICHAELA FLEMING
Updated: November 1, 2018 at 4:30 PM EDT

Health officials in New Jersey are investigating an ongoing human adenovirus outbreak that has already claimed the lives of 9 children at a nursing and rehabilitation center.

Today, October 23, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) confirmed 27 cases associated with this outbreak that has sprung up at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, NJ.

In a statement, the NJDOH announced that the outbreak strain is human adenovirus type 7, which has been associated with diseases in communal living arrangements and can be severe in immunocompromised patients, including the “medically fragile” pediatric population at the facility.

Adenoviruses are commonly associated with acute respiratory infections disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Currently, there is no adenovirus vaccine available for the general public. Previously, a vaccine developed to provide protection against human adenovirus types 4 and 7 was given to recruits of the US military from 1971 to 1999 but has since been discontinued. In 2011, a novel oral vaccine designed to protect against strains 4 and 7 was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration; however, the vaccination is only authorized to be administered in military personnel who may be at a higher risk for becoming infected with a strain.

The CDC also indicates that there is no specific treatment for individuals who fall ill with human adenovirus infections. Mild infections typically do not require medical care, but in immunocompromised patients, cidofovir has been used to treat patients in specific situations.

During a visit to the facility on Sunday, health officials observed minor handwashing deficiencies and are continuing to implement infection control measures at the facility, according to the NJDOH. Adenoviruses can be resistant to common disinfectants and persist on surfaces and medical instruments for long periods of time.

The DOH has mandated that the facility refrain from admitting any new patients until the outbreak has come to an end.

This is an ongoing investigation and updates will be provided as they become available.

For the most recent case counts associated with the Adenovirus Strain 7 Outbreak in New Jersey, check out the Contagion® Outbreak Monitor.
 
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