2 dead, 54 sickened in respiratory outbreak at Virginia assisted living facility

Two people have died and 18 required hospitalization due to a respiratory outbreak at an assisted living facility in Virginia, reports ABC News.

The Fairfax County Health Department confirmed the outbreak July 11. Fifty-four residents at the Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield have reported symptoms of respiratory illness since the first case was reported June 30, health officials said.

The exact cause of the outbreak is still unknown, according to Fairfax County Director of Epidemiology Benjamin Schwartz, MD.

"Seeing a respiratory outbreak in a long-term care facility is not odd," he told ABC News. "One thing that's different about this outbreak is just that it's occurring in the summer when, usually, we don't have a lot of respiratory disease."

Greenspring is working with the health department to control the outbreak. The facility has stopped taking new admissions, increased cleaning measures and quarantined ill patients, among other actions.

"[Greenspring] has acted with an abundance of caution, and in partnership with the Fairfax County Department of Health, has taken all necessary measures to fully implement proven infection prevention and control strategies," the facility said in a statement cited by ABC News. "We remain vigilant in our response and will continue to provide frequent and transparent updates to residents, staff and family members."

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