Adenovirus Outbreak Claims Nine Children in New Jersey

By on 6:55 AM

An outbreak of the adenovirus at a rehabilitation center in New Jersey has been linked to the deaths of nine children, according to a N.J. Department of Health (DOH) release.

A total of 26 confirmed pediatric cases and one staff member case have been associated with the outbreak.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, adenoviruses are resistant to many common disinfectants and can remain infectious for long periods on environmental surfaces and medical instruments. While they rarely cause severe illness, people with weakened immune systems or existing respiratory or cardiac disease are at higher risk of developing severe illness from an adenovirus infection.

Individuals associated with the outbreak became ill between Sept. 26, 2018 and Oct. 22, 2018. The affected children were in the facility's pediatric ventilator unit and had severely compromised immune systems before the outbreak.

In response to the outbreak, a team of infection control experts and epidemiologists from the N.J. DOH will be visiting several facilities, including the site of the outbreak, to conduct training and assessments of infection control procedures.

To prevent healthcare-associated outbreaks of adenovirus infections, CDC advises providers to always follow proper infection control practices, including contact and droplet precautions, and respond promptly to and report clusters of cases.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.