Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
Medical | By Josefina Yates

Child Deaths-Viral Outbreak-The Latest story

Child Deaths-Viral Outbreak-The Latest story

A ninth child has died in an adenovirus outbreak at a New Jersey rehabilitation center, state health officials said Sunday.

A sign for the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in New Jersey, where six children died from an outbreak of adenovirus.

The child was confirmed to have the virus before October 22, officials said.

While workers with the Department of Health Communicable Disease Service and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working on stopping the outbreak, no new residents will be admitted to the Wanaque Center. Some strains also cause diarrhea and conjunctivitis.

The mother of a 16-year-old girl who was killed by the viral outbreak said her daughter Elizabeth was diagnosed days before state health officials knew about the virus.

The Wanaque Center, about 32 miles (50 km) northwest of NY, serves newborns to 22-year-olds who are "medically fragile". "We are working every day to ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed and closely monitoring the situation at the facility".

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The nine children who died in the outbreak that began September 26 range in age from toddler to young adult, with a lot of them under age 18. Adenoviruses usually just cause mild illnesses.

"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. "The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe", according to the health department. And while a vaccine exists, it's available only to military recruits.

She described this family of viruses as "environmentally hardy". Type 7 is most commonly associated with acute respiratory disease, according to the CDC.

This small number of cases is believed to be an under-representation of the actual number since most people who become sick do not go to a doctor, or their doctors do not test for this virus.

"They cause principally a whole bunch of minor troublesome infections spread by children, often from children to adults", he said.

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