Press-Republican

Local News

February 27, 2008

Horace Nye patients die from new infection

Virus under control, Nye Home says

ELIZABETHTOWN -- An outbreak of a gastrointestinal virus at Horace Nye Nursing Home has resulted in several patient deaths and a quarantine of the facility.

The flu-like disorder, which may be a norovirus, started a week ago, County Manager Clifford Donaldson Jr. confirmed Wednesday.

He said the Nursing Home staff has been working with the State Department of Health and believe they now have the outbreak under control.

3 CONFIRMED DEATHS

Donaldson said that because of the federal Health Information Privacy Protection Act, known as HIPPA, he is restricted on how much information can be released.

"There is a bug going around the Nursing Home, and the Nursing Home is on shutdown' and not accepting any new residents at this time.

"We have had several deaths that can be attributed to the bug. However, other deaths have been from other diseases for which the residents were originally admitted -- cancer, Alzheimer's disease and so on -- and not related to the bug that has been going around."

He said as many as three patient deaths in the last week can be attributed to the gastrointestinal infection that spread through the facility.

"There have been 10 deaths recently (at Horace Nye), only two or three related to the virus. The rest have been from heart attacks, cancer. The other deaths were not related to the bug but due to age and the illnesses associated with the aging process."

ELDERLY HIT HARDER

The infection has also been found in area school districts, but didn't affect the students the same as it did the elderly Nursing Home residents.

"Once it gets in, elderly people have vulnerable immune systems," Donaldson said. "They are susceptible to it."

FLU SHOTS

Donaldson said the Horace Nye residents were offered flu shots earlier this winter, but that didn't cover the present virus.

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