Respiratory Illness Sickens Dozens at Virginia Retirement Community

An outbreak of a respiratory illness at a Northern Virginia senior living community has sickened more than 50 residents and likely contributed to two deaths.

The outbreak at Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield began 11 days ago.

Health officials say what’s striking about the outbreak is the number of residents impacted and the time of year — summer instead of winter when flu and respiratory illness

Usually spread.

The outbreak is in the continuing care area of the community, where about 250 live.

Fifty-four residents have suffered respiratory issues, with 20 taken to the hospital. Two elderly people who died also were suffering from other medical conditions. Seven residents have returned to the community after being hospitalized.

Greenspring is working with the Fairfax County Health Department to try to stem the spread of the illness.


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“Keeping residents who are ill in their rooms, increasing cleaning and hand washing at the facility, and they’re also continuing to work with us to report new cases and to keep following and identifying new residents who may become ill,” said Dr. Benjamin Schwartz of the Fairfax County Health Department.

Greenspring issued a statement that read, in part, “Greenspring’s highest priority is the welfare of those who live and work on campus … In partnership with the Fairfax County Department of Health, (Greenspring) has taken all necessary measures to fully implement proven infection prevention and control strategies.”

County and state health officials are still doing lab tests to determine exactly what is causing the illness.

There have not been any new hospitalizations in the past few days.

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