Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

9th child dies at Wanaque Center amid adenovirus outbreak

9th child dies at Wanaque Center amid adenovirus outbreak

An eighth child died Friday afternoon following a monthlong adenovirus outbreak at a rehabilitation centre in New Jersey, the state's Department of Health said.

In some versions of a story October 25 about a viral outbreak, The Associated Press misspelled the name of the New Jersey health commissioner.

"This is a tragic situation, and our thoughts are with the families who are grieving right now", New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a statement. "We are working every day to ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed and closely monitoring the situation at the facility". A staff member at the facility also became ill, but has since recovered.

Those affected range in age from toddlers to young adults, with the vast majority under age 18. Some strains also cause diarrhea and pinkeye.

Twenty-five pediatric cases of adenovirus have been connected to the outbreak at this facility, officials said.

The health department said this week the facility had been "instructed not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance". And for most patients, only home remedies and over-the-counter medicines to relieve symptoms are needed.

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Adenovirus usually poses little risk for healthy people.

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 department is continuing to investigate the outbreak. There were compounding medical conditions.

The viruses, unlike the flu, are not seasonal and can cause illness throughout the year.

This month, reported that in the center's most recent health inspection report, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave the facility a "below average" score, and the 2017 report also said the facility "failed to ensure infection control practices were followed".

The viruses typically spread from close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands, through the air by coughing and sneezing, and touching objects or surfaces that have the viruses on them before touching one's mouth, nose, or eyes.

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