Monday, 12 November, 2018

Ninth child dies in deadly viral outbreak in New Jersey

Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation 9th child dies in adenovirus outbreak at NJ health facility, Health Department confirms
Francis Osborne | 31 October, 2018, 13:59

An adenovirus outbreak at a New Jersey pediatric rehabilitation center has left nine children dead, officials said on Sunday Oct. 28.

Adenovirus has not been confirmed in another person who died Friday afternoon, officials said.

Teams will also be sent to the Voorhees Pediatric Facility in the state, and the Children's Specialised Hospital with locations in Toms River and Mountainside.

At the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, the 26 patients-25 children and one adult, a staff members who later recovered- contracted the adenovirus during the outbreak. "We are working every day to ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed and closely monitoring the situation at the facility". 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.

"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.

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State health officials said the ninth victim became ill before October 22, and that no patients have gotten sick since then.

While adenovirus typically does not cause serious illness, the children at the facility are quite ill, and therefore have compromised immune systems. Some strains also cause diarrhea and pinkeye.

The teen - who has been a longterm care patient at the facility for four years - was apparently diagnosed with the virus several days before the NJ Health Department was notified of the outbreak, the WABC article says. That said, investigations on the outbreak are ongoing, and so are the measures to prevent the further spread of the virus.

The strain of adenovirus is associated with communal living arrangements, it said.

In the same report, the New Jersey spokeswoman Nicole Kirgan said children are particularly at risk with this virus. The CDC is also investigating the outbreak.

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