Respiratory infection hospitalizes more people at Springfield retirement community

Three more people have been hospitalized in the outbreak of a fatal respiratory ailment in a Springfield, Virginia, retirement community that has now gone on for two weeks.

As of Friday afternoon, 23 residents of the Greenspring Retirement Community had been transferred to hospitals for care, 60 were sick and two had died. The illness ranges from upper respiratory infection and a cough, to pneumonia.

The two patients who died were older and had complex medical problems. The outbreak is in a building that houses 263 residents, and includes assisted living and skilled nursing care.

In a statement Monday afternoon, the Fairfax County Health Department said, “No cause for the illnesses has yet been identified, but the health department is working with the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct testing for viruses and bacteria that may cause respiratory illness.”

The health department went on to say that so far there was “excellent collaboration” between the health department and Greenspring.

“The No. 1 most important thing is making sure that good infection control is going to prevent disease as much as possible,” Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, director of epidemiology and population health at the Fairfax County Health Department, told WTOP last week.

After ensuring residents and staff stay safe, Schwartz had said the second priority is to identify the infection’s cause.

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