A ninth child died over the weekend in a deadly viral outbreak at a New Jersey rehabilitation center where a total of 25 young patients with compromised immune systems have been confirmed with adenovirus infections, state health officials said.
The department said later Monday there have been 26 adenovirus cases confirmed at the center. It is awaiting laboratory confirmation of adenoviruses in a child who died Friday.
Seven other children have died and 16 others who have survived all contracted adenovirus while being treated at the Wanaque Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center in Haskell, according to the Department of Health.
"We are working every day to ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed and closely monitoring the situation at the facility", he said.
The facility has been told not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends. The health department was first notified of the outbreak on October 9, according to a statement from the agency. They ranged in age "from a toddler through young adults, but most are under 18".
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"Facility outbreaks are not always preventable, but in response to what we have seen in Wanaque, we are taking aggressive steps to minimize the chance they occur among the most vulnerable patients in New Jersey", Elnahal said in a statement.
"Deeply saddened to report a 9th death from the Wanaque outbreak".
This strain of adenovirus has been associated with communal living.
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 Wanaque Center continues to fully cooperate with these agencies and has sought out their medical guidance with respect to the virus", the facility said. Adenovirus is a respiratory virus that can cause mild or serious illness, though serious illness is less common. They tend to be spread by coughing and sneezing, direct contact with an infected person, or touching objects and surfaces, such as door handles and light switches, where the viruses can live and remain infectious for days or weeks. Symptoms include the common cold, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, pink eye, and fever and bladder infections.