Ninth child dies in New Jersey facility suffering adenovirus outbreak

Ebony Scott
October 31, 2018

A ninth child has died of a viral outbreak at a New Jersey health care facility, the state Health Department said Sunday. Wednesday the department announced an additional child death.

The department said in a statement on Friday that the latest death involved a child who was "medically fragile with respiratory illness".

The ninth child became ill before October 22 and died on October 28, the New Jersey Department of Health said.

The strain found in the rehab center outbreak - type 7 - is among the more potent types and sometimes causes more serious respiratory illness, especially among those with weak immune systems.

The Wanaque Center, about 32 miles (50 km) northwest of NY, serves newborns to 22-year-olds who are "medically fragile".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is assisting with the outbreak at the facility, and the Department of Health Communicable Disease Service is on site as well.

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

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He added: "The department continues to work very closely with the facility to ensure that all infection control measures are being followed".

Adenoviruses, of which there are 52 different strains, are common causes of respiratory illnesses and most infections aren't severe, according to the CDC.

The viruses themselves are also "resistant to many common disinfectants and can remain infectious for long periods on environmental surfaces and medical instruments", the CDC says.

"Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face", she previously told CNN.

Symptoms include a sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, fever, and neurologic disease.

There have been 25 total cases of the virus at the facility. They're awaiting test results.

"People know patients are being held prisoner, but they probably think they have bigger battles in public health to fight, so they just have to let this go", Sophie Harman, a global health expert at Queen Mary University of London, said. "But they're not almost as serious as influenza".

Other reports by GizPress

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