Mom of adenovirus victim: Parents should have been told sooner of outbreak in Wanaque

Mom of adenovirus victim: Parents should have been told sooner of outbreak in Wanaque

The mother of an 18-year-old who has a children's tenure at a long-term care facility in Wanaque said she was at the head of a hospital developed symptoms last weekend.

The mother was interviewed on Friday afternoon at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.

The outbreak has now affected 31 children and one staff member at the center.

"Can you guess how much worse she would have been?" the mother said. "It should not come down to this."

A spokesman for the Wanaque center did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday evening.

The mother, who lives in New York City and has anonymity to protect her family's privacy, has been at St. Joseph's University Medical Center in Paterson almost the entire week. She said her daughter's condition has been improved since she was admitted early Monday.

Like many other parents with children at the Wanaque center, the mother said she had not heard anything about the children's death. She had received a letter from the facility a few days earlier informing her that some children had contracted the virus, but there was no mention of it.

"Why did they keep this from us?" she said. "I check on her religiously." I call several times a day.

"We could have intervened," she added. I would've gone there. "I would have taken it easy. "

Her daughter was born with cerebral palsy and twin sister at an apartment in New York City. She was gone into cardiac arrest when she was 12, leaving her in a vegetative state, her mother said. The Wanaque center, 30 miles from the family's home, was the closest long-term care center for children to open and would accept Medicaid.

The mother described the care at Wanaque as decent, although she said she had to stay on top of the staff. She said she and her daughter's father would visit on alternating weekends. She said she would call the nurses' station at least once a day for her daughter's vital conditions and chronicling them in notebooks, which she has now amassed at least 20.

"I'm not going to lie, they just took good care of her," she said. "I had to be on top of them, but the treatment was good."

The mother grew concerned about the outbreak. After the outbreak became public, she said nurses and aides started wearing masks and gowns, and using stronger disinfecting wipes.

"If the health department was there and everyone was taking precautions, then did the virus spread to my daughter?" she said.

When she visited on Nov. 5, she was worried that there were yellowish secretions coming out of her daughter's mouth. She called the next day and what told the secretions were still present, and that her daughter had reached a temperature that reached 99.6 degrees.

The mother told staff members that she wanted her daughter to be at a hospital. "But they kept saying that they were doing OK," she said. Tylenol for the fever and were going to give her a chest X-ray. "But I kept telling her that she needed to be taken to a hospital."

The daughter was taken to St. Joseph's at 1 a.m. Monday. 80 percent pure oxygen in the emergency room to help restore those levels, the mother said.

Her daughter was diagnosed later that day with adenovirus. She developed pneumonia as a secondary infection. Her blood pressure and blood sugar spiked through the week, her mother said.

The daughter had been stabilized by Friday afternoon, and the doctors were hopeful that she would recover, the mother said.

But she does not want to return to Wanaque once she's better. They said they would like to be parents of the Wanaque victims.

"I do not feel good at bringing anything back," she said. "I want to bring home with me." I do not have enough room, but I do not want anyone else looking after anymore. "

The Wanaque center is one of the only four state-of-the-art pediatric long-term care patients. The others are at Voorhees, Mountainside and Toms River.

Another case in Camden County

Meanwhile, state health officials have announced that they have sickened seven children in Camden County.

The two outbreaks appear unrelated, state health officials said. More than 50 strains of adenovirus have been identified nationwide by scientists, and the Wanaque outbreak is caused by type 7, while the Voorhees outbreak is caused by type 3.

more: Mother of sickened teen sue Wanaque center where 10 have died in adenovirus outbreak

more: Adenovirus victim's parents: Shut down Wanaque center where 10 children died

The state has inspected spot inspections at both facilities and dispatched teams with expertise in infection control to assess both centers and educate staff members. A member of the Health Department is currently posted at the Wanaque center. Both facilities have ceased new admissions until the outbreaks are over.

Adenovirus typically causes illnesses from sore throats, coughs and pneumonia to diarrhea and pink eye. In those with weakened immune systems, it can be more severe. Many of the children at the long-term care centers rely on ventilators to breathe and feeding tubes for nutrition.

The most recent patients have been diagnosed this week, as late as Thursday. An outbreak is considered to have two consecutive two-week incubation periods have passed. If no new cases are identified, the outbreak will be deemed over on Dec. 6th

Email: washburn@northjersey.com

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Kristine Deleg of Ossining, N.Y. talks Oct. 25, 2018, about daughter Elizabeth Poulos, who died last week at the Wanaque Center in Haskell, N.J.
North Jersey Record

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