For the second time this fall we're hearing of a cluster of severe adenovirus infections involving fatalities (see last month's Heath Dept. Reports A Cluster Of Severe Adenovirus Cases In Upper Michigan) - this time striking children at a nursing and rehabilitation facility in Haskell, NJ.
Adenoviruses - of which there are more than 4 dozen serotypes - are a common cause of (generally mild) respiratory illnesses in both adults and children.According to the following statement by the New Jersey DOH, 18 pediatric cases have been reported at this nursing facility, resulting in 6 deaths.
Statement on adenovirus at Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation
The Department of Health today is confirming 18 cases of adenovirus among pediatric residents at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell. Of these 18 cases, there have unfortunately been six deaths of pediatric residents.
The facility has been instructed not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance.
A Department team is at the facility today and an inspection team was also there Sunday. The team on Sunday found minor handwashing deficiencies and the Health Department is continuing to work closely with the facility on infection control issues.
This is an on going outbreak investigation.
Adenoviruses are a family of viruses that often cause mild illness, particularly in young children.Less than an hour ago, the Commissioner of the NJ Department of Health published the following on Twitter.
Unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus (#7) in this outbreak is affecting medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems.
The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe.
The CDC's Adenovirus Outbreak's page lists Adenovirus 7 as commonly associated with acute respiratory infections.
Outbreaks of adenovirus infection can occur throughout the year. They are usually associated with respiratory illnesses or conjunctivitis.
Reported sporadic cases and outbreaks of adenovirus have included:Since there is no vaccine available to the general public, practicing good `flu hygiene' is the best way to protect yourself. The CDC recommends:
- Adenovirus types 3, 4 and 7, which are most commonly associated with acute respiratory disease
- Adenovirus type 14, which since 2007 has been associated with outbreaks of acute respiratory illness among U.S. military recruits and the general public
- Adenovirus types 8, 19, 37, 53, and 54, which can cause epidemic keratoconjunctivitis
- Enteric adenovirus types 40 and 41, which cause gastroenteritis, usually in children
- Some adenoviruses (e.g., 4 and 7) that spread in bodies of water such as small lakes or swimming pools without adequate chlorine and can cause outbreaks of febrile disease with conjunctivitis
Follow simple steps to protect yourself and others
You can protect yourself and others from adenoviruses and other respiratory illnesses by following a few simple steps:
If you’re sick you can help protect others:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water (see CDC’s Clean Hands Save Lives! )
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Frequent handwashing is especially important in childcare settings and healthcare facilities.
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with others
- Refrain from kissing others
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom
Maintain proper chlorine levels to prevent outbreaks
Adenoviruses are resistant to many common disinfectant products and can remain infectious for long periods on surfaces and objects. It is important to keep adequate levels of chlorine in swimming pools to prevent outbreaks of conjunctivitis caused by adenoviruses. For guidance to prevent adenovirus infections in healthcare settings, see Prevention & Treatment for Health Care Professionals.
There is no specific treatment for people with adenovirus infection. Most adenovirus infections are mild and may require only care to help relieve symptoms.