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December 03, 2018

Adenovirus outbreak at New Jersey medical center shows communication errors, still no known source

A new state legislative committee is threatening to subpoena owners of the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation

Illness Viruses
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At a New Jersey Senate hearing on Monday about the deaths of 11 children at a North Jersey healthcare facility, legislators learned that nearly a dozen children there had experienced symptoms of the viral infection and two had already died before the health department was notified, according to the Associated Press.

Representatives from the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation were invited to the hearing to explain to a state Senate committee just how 35 children were infected with the adenovirus, and why no one was alerted sooner. 

No representatives from the Wanaque Center attended the hearing.

Now, newly-formed policy will require the health department to be notified of any outbreaks where pediatric deaths have occurred, the AP reported.

Lawmakers also learned that it took nearly a month for the infected patients, all of whom already had serious underlying health issues, to be separated from uninfected patients. 

No children at the Wanaque Center have contracted the virus since that happened in late November.

During the hearing, senators threatened to subpoena the owners of the medical center, according to CBS. Representatives for the nurses at the Wanaque Center claimed they were under-staffed and not fit to handle infectious diseases.

New Jersey health department officials also said they may never know how the adenovirus outbreak began at the nursing facility. 

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