HASKELL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Four more cases have been confirmed in an outbreak of adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, bringing the total number of infections to 23.
The New Jersey Department of Health said eight children who died are among the confirmed cases of the virus. The latest child death was announced Friday night.
Relatives of former patients are coming forward to raise concern about the general conditions inside the facility. Pictures some of the women say they took inside the center in September paint a grim picture.
“The mood in there is just very down and dirty,” said one woman who did not want to be identified. “There’s stains on the wall you just can’t tell if they’re blood or fecal matter.”
The pair said they felt compelled to speak out for others who live there.
“There are people in there that can’t talk and who is looking out for them?” said one of the women. “We would go to visit, and we would go on different days at different times so couldn’t set it up to look good.”
The daughter and mother would often visit a close family friend housed there for care.
“That place is so filthy and so vile, and you walk in, the smell is just so… we were in tears when we would leave there because we were going home, and he was stuck.”
The New Jersey Department of Health confirms the smell, saying during an August inspection there was a strong unpleasant odor. The center was cited for not following proper infection control.
The couple also showed photos they say showed the level of disregard shown to conditions.
“Sitting in the dining room with them one day when playing bingo, and there’s oatmeal on table that’s crusted and growing mold, or the bed broken held together with scotch tape,” she said.
They say when they complained they were told the facility was understaffed.
“We went to visit him and he didn’t have a blanket because they didn’t have blankets,“ she said. “We went to grab a bed spread off bed next to him and there was a huge dried urine stain on the bed.”
After the viral outbreak in the pediatric unit, the state found minor hand washing deficiencies. The mother says she called the Department of Health after she got her friend out of there earlier in October
She hopes bringing these conditions to light sparks compassion and intervention
In a statement to CBS2 on Friday night, the center said these claims run counter to its long-standing good reputation and that it is rated in the top 10 percent of all nursing facilities nationwide.