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Home / Health / . 7 Child dies of adenovirus outbreak at the rehabilitation center of New Jersey

. 7 Child dies of adenovirus outbreak at the rehabilitation center of New Jersey



A seventh "medically fragile" child died of an adenovirus outbreak at a nursing and rehabilitation center in New Jersey, officials said Wednesday.

The New Jersey Department of Health said in a statement Wednesday morning that it had learned "last night that unfortunately another child hospitalized for adenovirus died yesterday."

In addition, it is confirmed that the seven deceased, eleven other children, are infected.

Wednesday's statement came one day after New Jersey health officials announced that an outbreak at the Wanaque Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Haskell Township had killed six children in recent days.

The Health Department was informed of the outbreak for the first time on 9 October, according to a statement from the Authority.

"The burden of the adenovirus observed in this outbreak is associated with community living conditions and is known to cause a serious illness," it said Wednesday. "The department continues to work very closely with the facility to ensure that all infection control measures are followed and an investigation into the outbreak, with support from the CDC, is ongoing."

The Department of Health has ordered the facility to not accept new patients by the end of the outbreak, and they are in full compliance.

  PHOTO: The Wanaque Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Haskell, NJ, is pictured in this undated image by Google. Google Maps Street View
The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, NJ, is here undated image from Google.

Adenoviruses are part of a group of viruses that can infect the membranes or tissue lining of the airways, eyes, intestines, urinary tract and nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The symptoms usually include sore throat, pneumonia, diarrhea and pink eye.

"Unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus [#7] in this outbreak affects medically fragile children with severely weakened immune systems," said the State Department of Health.

An infectious disease specialist told ABC News that the virus "may cause cold-like and flu-like symptoms such as a stuffy nose or a scratchy neck".

"It's a very common virus, all of us had adenovirus all at once," Dr. Todd Ellerin, an infectious disease specialist at South Shore Health in Weymouth, Massachusetts. "It's rare, but we've seen # 7 become a fatal pneumonia in patients who have a normal immune system."

"It is more dangerous in children or adults who are immunocompromised," said Ellerin.

A Ministry of Health inspection team went to the rehabilitation center on Sunday and another team from the agency came back on Tuesday.

  PHOTO: Anatomical Structure of the Adenovirus Getty Images
Anatomical Structure of the Adenovirus

"The team on Sunday found mild hand washing defects and the health department continues to work closely with the establishment of infection control issues," the agency said in a statement. "This is an ongoing investigation of the outbreak."

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said on Tuesday that he was "heartbroken" by the news.

"I was informed by [the state health commissioner]who assured me that the Ministry of Health has recommended important measures to improve protection against further spread of the infection and to continue its active surveillance on the ground," the statement said , "I am confident that the steps being taken by state and local officials will minimize the impact on everyone staying in the facility, including patients and employees."


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