By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Four patients in addition to 19 nursing staffers were sickened in an outbreak of norovirus earlier this year at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia.
A hospital spokesman disclosed the number of patients affected in response to questions Friday.
As previously reported, state inspection records disclosed the number of staffers who were sickened but provided no information on patients.
The outbreak prompted a visit to the facility in May by state regulators and the subsequent issue of a citation for failing to follow state and federal regulations.
CHOP officials say that all the deficiencies have been corrected and new procedures and retraining programs put in place to ensure there are no future incidents.
Disclosure of the state citation comes as CHOP has been designated by the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention as one of the pediatric hospitals across the country that will be called upon to handle ebola cases involving children, if and when any occur.
According to the six-page state inspection report, the outbreak occurred when CHOP staffers failed to properly sanitize a room previously occupied by a norovirus patient. Inspectors also faulted the facility for failing to require that any sickened workers not report to work until 48 hours after they displayed no symptoms of the virus.
The outbreak occurred in late March and early April of this year.
Norovirus, which has become increasingly common on ship cruises, is marked by severe vomiting and diarrhea.
According to CHOP officials all the patients and staffers recovered from the outbreak.