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New study shows increase in illnesses in nursing homes

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MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - A new database shows that Wisconsin nursing homes have been hit hard by gastro-intestinal illnesses over the last three years.

The national investigative reporting group Pro-Publica says at least six Wisconsin home residents died and 15-hundred residents and staffers had gastro-related illnesses. And the group says it’s partially because staffers did not control spreads of the novo-virus and other diseases which are highly contagious. The database includes three years of inspection reports from almost 400 Wisconsin nursing homes and long-term care units which take federal funding – and that’s almost every facility. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analyzed the Wisconsin data, and found that over a-thousand nursing home residents and 472 staffers had gastro-intestinal illnesses in the three years listed.

The six deaths were at the Lasata Care Center in Cedarburg, where a novo-virus outbreak also hospitalized two residents and sickened 140 others in late 2010 and early 2011. Eighty staffers were affected, and only 38 residents avoided getting sick. Lasata was fined 54-hundred dollars. Deficiencies are ranked from “A” through “L” according to their severity. Only four Wisconsin nursing homes were found to have the worst category of deficiencies this year, and three were in Milwaukee – the Sunrise, Lake Terrace, and Cameo centers. The other one was the Brookfield Rehab and Specialty Center.

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