Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
Health Care | By Terrence Lopez

9th death reported at pediatric center amid viral outbreak

9th death reported at pediatric center amid viral outbreak

The New Jersey Department of Health confirmed another child has died at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, bringing the number of deaths at the facility to nine. It is awaiting laboratory confirmation of adenoviruses in a child who died Friday.

Adenovirus is a respiratory virus that can cause mild or serious illness, though serious illness is less common.

This 1981 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a group of adenovirus virions. They are common in places with large groups of children, such as child-care settings, schools and summer camps. A staff member at the facility also became ill, but has since recovered.

The outbreak will not be declared over until the centre can go four weeks without patients being newly infected.

The timing of the deaths is not clear.

The most recent date of illness onset was October 22, and it is believed that those sickened became ill between September 26 and October 22. Wednesday the department announced an additional child death.

A team at the facility on Sunday found minor hand-washing deficiencies.

Similarly, the states' health department also ensures that it is working very closely with the facility to monitor the illness outbreak, and to ensure that all infection control measures are being followed.

Her mother says she was not made aware of the outbreak until Monday, the day before her daughter died and nearly three weeks after she was admitted to St. Joseph's Medical Center, NorthJersey.com reports.

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 infections can affect the tissue linings of the respiratory tract, eyes, intestines, urinary tract and nervous system, causing illnesses ranging from a cold to bronchitis to pneumonia to pink eye. "The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe", according to the health department.

In the same report, the New Jersey spokeswoman Nicole Kirgan said children are particularly at risk with this virus.

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