Medicine

Ninth child dies in New Jersey facility suffering adenovirus outbreak

Ninth child dies in New Jersey facility suffering adenovirus outbreak

The "medically fragile" child, whose identity was not made public, died late Saturday at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, N.J., just one day after the facility's eighth death.

As of the announcement, the total number of confirmed adenovirus cases at the facility is at 23, with seven deaths confirmed to be linked to the outbreak.

"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 press release.

The Health Department says an inspection team found "minor handwashing deficiencies", and they continue to work closely with the nursing and rehab center on infection control issues.

Each of those who became ill had "severely compromised immune systems" before they got sick, and ranged in age from toddlers to young adults. The child had become ill before October 22, according to officials. Some strains also cause diarrhea and pinkeye. "This is an active investigation of an outbreak of adenovirus so it is possible that lab tests will confirm additional cases". The facility has been barred from admitting new patients for the duration of the outbreak.

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The illness, identified as adenovirus 7, poses the most significant risk to patients with weakened immune systems or existing respiratory and cardiac disease. "Often people become ill for many reasons, especially these medically fragile children who had respiratory problems as part of their underlying medical conditions".

Adenovirus is a respiratory virus that can causes mild or serious illness.

New Jersey health officials are sending infection-control teams to four long-term pediatric centers and a hospital to assist with training amid viral and bacterial outbreaks that killed a combined 10 people. 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.

From 2003 through 2016, the two most commonly reported adenovirus types in the United States were types 2 and 3, though four additional types - 1, 4, 7 and 14 - also caused illness, according to a 2017 report from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease of the CDC.


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