Officials identify 26th case of viral outbreak

31 October, 2018, 03:14 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • 9th child dies in adenovirus outbreak at NJ health facility, Health Department confirms

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.

They said the unidentified child who died Saturday evening at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell was "medically fragile", CBS News reported.

New diagnoses bring the total number of cases to 25.

"To date, confirmed cases became ill between September 26 and October 22", according to a health department statement.

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

Those affected range in age from toddlers to young adults, with the vast majority under the age of 18.

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Adenovirus is a respiratory virus that can causes mild or serious illness. During a site visit last week, inspectors identified "hand-washing deficiencies", and state health officials have barred the center from admitting new patients until the outbreak is past. The most recent outbreak of the illness at the facility, about 32 miles (50 km) northwest of New York City, was October 22.

Adenoviruses, of which there are 52 different strains, are common causes of respiratory illnesses and most infections aren't severe, according to the CDC.

"This is a tragic situation, and our thoughts are with the families who are grieving right now", Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said. The health department was first notified of the outbreak on October 9, according to a statement from the agency.

The for-profit facility has a pediatric centre and also cares for elderly residents.

The ninth child became ill before October 22 and died on October 28, the New Jersey Department of Health said. The baby had the bacterium and was transferred to another facility, where it died.

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 strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe", the department said in a statement.

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