Ninth child dies in New Jersey facility suffering viral outbreak

Florence Lopez
October 31, 2018

New Jersey health officials said Monday they are sending infection-control teams to four long-term pediatric centers and a hospital to assist with training amid viral and bacterial outbreaks that have left 10 people dead. "This is an active investigation of an outbreak of adenovirus so it is possible that lab tests will confirm additional cases".

The latest death occurred Friday when a child succumbed to adenovirus, according to officials.

A staff member who had fallen ill has since recovered from this strain of adenovirus, but the medically fragile children are the ones most vulnerable to the virus.

"We are working every day to ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed and closely monitoring the situation at the facility", he said. But officials say this outbreak is particularly severe because it's affecting medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems.

The children's ages are not being released to protect patient privacy, said Nicole Kirgan, a health department spokeswoman.

Adenovirus usually poses little risk for healthy people and typically causes mild cold or flu symptoms.

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The department is continuing to investigate the outbreak. They also note this strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living facilities.

Rowena Bautista, the administrator of the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, said Thursday in a statement the community "feels a tremendous sense of loss". The CDC is also investigating the outbreak.

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.

"Am I angry? I think what it is I need to know information, I like facts", Poulous told WABC.

"As part of an ongoing effort to ensure all infection control measures are followed, we are taking extra steps to monitor residents and staff for any signs of infectious illness", Elnahal said.

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