9th child dies after virus outbreak at New Jersey facility

Grant Boone
October 31, 2018

United States health officials have confirmed another case of a virus that has left eight children dead at a paediatric rehabilitation centre.

The child who died Saturday was medically-fragile with a respiratory illness and had a confirmed case of adenovirus before October 22, the Health Department said.

The new diagnosis of adenovirus brings the total number of cases at the rehabilitation centre to 26. "We are working every day to ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed and closely monitoring the situation at the facility".

Adenovirus frequently causes mild to severe illness with cold-like symptoms, particularly in young children.

Officials say the outbreak occurred between September 26 and October 22.

"This is an active investigation of an outbreak of adenovirus so it is possible that lab tests will confirm additional cases", the state's health department said in a statement.

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A ninth child has died at a pediatric rehabilitation center in New Jersey due to an outbreak of a respiratory virus, officials announced Sunday.

"Unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus (#7) in this outbreak is affecting medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems", Kirgan said.

A staff member at the facility also fell ill during the outbreak, but has since recovered. The most recent outbreak of the illness at the facility, about 32 miles (50 km) northwest of New York City, was October 22. The strain of adenovirus in the outbreak is linked to "communal living arrangements" and can be especially unsafe to people with weakened immune systems.

While workers with the Department of Health Communicable Disease Service and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working on stopping the outbreak, no new residents will be admitted to the Wanaque Center.

The state health department has sent a team of investigators to the facility to determine the cause of the outbreak.

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