Voorhees Pediatric Facility, a pediatric special care nursing facility located in Voorhees, New Jersey, has had four patients with chronic lung disease contract a mild form of adenovirus. The adenovirus strain at Voorhees Pediatric Facility is not the same virus strain that was identified in the North New Jersey area in mid-October. Voorhees Pediatric Facility is working aggressively to control the spread of the virus. These four cases were identified during the week of October 20, 2018. As of November 1, 2018, three of the four patients have recovered, and no new cases have been reported. Voorhees Pediatric Facility continues to employ escalated isolation and infection control measures.
There are 51 antigenic types/strains of human adenovirus according to the World Health Organization. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, the antigenic strain that affected the four children while being treated at Voorhees Pediatric Facility is a mild form/strain of the virus that does not lead to death, unlike the Adenovirus Type 7, the deadly strain identified in the virus outbreak in early October 2018 in the North Jersey area.
Adenovirus is a common virus that circulates throughout the human population every year. In New Jersey, outbreaks are most common in the fall and winter seasons with the virus causing cold-like symptoms, including but not always fever and conjunctivitis. Schools and daycare facilities are common sources of adenovirus infection since children are most susceptible to viral respiratory infections. The virus can be contagious prior to having symptoms and can survive for up to ten days on all surfaces, including inanimate objects, resulting in contraction from casual contact with many surfaces and people.
Voorhees Pediatric Facility has been working successfully to control the spread of this virus as residents are considered ‘medically-fragile’ and, as a result, are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if exposed to this grouping of viruses, resulting in longer sick periods and continuing to expose others to the grouping of viruses.
Since the first outbreak on October 20th, at Voorhees Pediatric Facility, medical staff has isolated the four infected patient-residents. All exposed roommates are receiving separate care, therapy, recreation, and tutoring programs. At this time residents are presently restricted from attending outside school/programs. The facility has also restricted children under the age of 13 from visiting the facility until further notice. Additionally, the facility has instituted additional and more aggressive forms of anti-viral cleaning methods and has increased housekeeping staff to assist with the disinfection needs.
“We are taking every proactive and preventive measure to address this situation at our facility. We continue to work with the New Jersey Department of Health to ensure the ongoing protection of our medically fragile children,” said, Scott Goldberg, Administrator, Voorhees Pediatric.
Voorhees Pediatric Facility has directly contacted all of the families of residents who may have been exposed to or showing signs of the virus. All families continue to receive regular updates. The facility has ongoing communication and contact with the New Jersey Department of Health multiple times a day and is following the highest standards and protocols.