July 2019: Three dead amid respiratory illness outbreak in Springfield, VA

A semblance of normalcy has returned to the Greenspring Retirement Community more than two weeks after an outbreak of respiratory illnesses struck the senior living facility, putting 23 people in the hospital and possibly contributing to three deaths.

All of the residents hospitalized for respiratory symptoms have now returned to Greenspring, and no new cases have been reported for several days, Erickson Living regional communications manager Courtney Benhoff told the Fairfax County Times on Tuesday.

The majority of residents that were being monitored are no longer showing signs of illness, and most Greenspring employees have returned to work.

Greenspring is one of three retirement communities that Erickson Living developed and manages in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

“At Greenspring, there is nothing that is more important to us than the health and well-being of those who live and work on campus,” the Greenspring team said in a statement provided by Benhoff. “According to the Fairfax County Health Department, the community has instituted all appropriate preventative measures to stop further illnesses and those actions are having a positive result.”

Greenspring reported to the Fairfax County Health Department earlier this month that 54 out of the 263 residents in its Garden Ridge long-term care facility had fallen ill with respiratory symptoms that ranged from coughing to pneumonia.

The health department announced on July 11 that it was conducting an outbreak investigation at Greenspring, which has a 58-acre campus in Springfield that offers assisted living and skilled nursing care through Garden Ridge as well as apartment homes for independent living.

At that point, 18 individuals had been hospitalized, two of whom died. Both of the people who died were hospitalized with pneumonia and dealt with complex medical problems that made it difficult for the health department to determine how much the pneumonia contributed to their deaths.

The health department reported on July 16 that a third person had died in connection with the outbreak, though that individual also had other medical conditions.

“The Health Department does not know the full medical history and the extent to which the respiratory illness contributed to the deaths,” Fairfax County Health Department communications director John Silcox said.

At that point, the number of residents affected by the illness had increased to 63 individuals, and 19 Greenspring employees also reported experiencing respiratory difficulties since the outbreak began on June 30.

Working with the county health department along with the Virginia Department of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested 17 samples taken from ill residents, but as of July 19, the agency had not been able to identify a specific cause for the sudden uptick in respiratory illness from either that initial testing or additional laboratory testing.

CDC test results uncovered several bacteria known to “colonize” the nose and throat but may not be the cause of infection, and several specimens tested positive rhinovirus, the respiratory virus most frequently found in humans and the main source of the common cold, according to the Fairfax County Health Department.

The outbreak was confined to the Garden Ridge facility, as Greenspring’s independent living section, which houses approximately 1,700 residents, did not see levels of illness considered unusual or unexpected for a fairly large community of older residents.

The county began investigating reports of a similar outbreak at the Heatherwood assisted living facility in Burke on July 17, but the health department found no evidence that the illnesses seen at Heatherwood was connected to the situation at Greenspring.

The department stated on July 18 that most of the ill Heatherwood residents had recovered….

http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/articles/three-dead-amid-respiratory-illness-outbreak-in-springfield/article_ce2c4b14-afd8-11e9-959b-7f6fe03817ca.html

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Wuhan to establish Hubei’s first 5G demonstration zone

Source: hubei.gov.cn 09/05/2019 17:09:12

Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, will establish the province’s first 5G demonstration zone in the Central Business District(CBD), according to a 5G cooperation agreement signed between China Mobile and local authorities on September 3.

According to the agreement, China Mobile will take advantage of technological advantages of large-scale network construction and product development to build a “dual Gigabit infrastructure network”, so as to promote the deep integration of 5G technology and traditional industries.

China Mobile has teamed up with local authorities to pilot 5G services in Wuhan, witnessing central China’s first 5G smart street-lamp built in the Jianghan District. The 5G coverage for commercial use in Jianghan is expected to be completed in October.(hubei.gov.cn by Zhang Yawei)