Eighth child dies at New Jersey rehabilitation facility

9th child dies in adenovirus outbreak at NJ health facility, Health Department confirms

The New Jersey Department of Health said in a news release that "another medically fragile child" who had a confirmed case of adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation died Saturday night.

The New Jersey Department of Health confirmed another child has died at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, bringing the number of deaths at the facility to nine.

The patient was one of 25 sickened by an outbreak of a respiratory virus called adenovirus, which swept through Wanaque between September 26 and October 22, mainly affecting patients in the pediatric ventilator unit.

New Jersey health officials say tests have confirmed a 19th patient has been infected in a viral outbreak at a pediatric rehabilitation centre that has killed seven people.

The nine children who died in the outbreak that began September 26 range in age from toddler to young adult, with majority under age 18.

The highly contagious adenovirus poses little to risk to healthy people. Some strains also cause diarrhea and pinkeye.

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The outbreak, caused by adenovirus type 7, "is affecting medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems".

The 227-bed, for-profit facility has a pediatric center and also cares for elderly residents. "We are working every day to ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed and closely monitoring the situation at the facility".

Adenovirus is mild and feels like a cold or flu, experts say. That said, investigations on the outbreak are ongoing, and so are the measures to prevent the further spread of the virus. "The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe".

The Department of Health's Communicable Disease service remains on site to monitor the outbreak.

In rare cases among people with weakened immune systems, the viruses may cause pneumonia or inflammation of the brain and the tissues around it. Type 7 is most commonly associated with acute respiratory disease, according to the CDC.

In a statement, the facility said it "promptly notified all appropriate government agencies when the virus was initially identified".

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