Ninth death reported at New Jersey pediatric rehab center amid viral outbreak

Lynette PayneOct 31, 2018

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

The child who died Saturday was medically-fragile with a respiratory illness and had a confirmed case of adenovirus before October 22, the Health Department said.

No new residents are being admitted for the duration of the outbreak, which won't be declared over until the center can go four weeks without any new cases.

Health commissioner Dr Shereef Elnahal said the first symptoms showed at the centre on 26 September, and the state was notified of an outbreak 9 October.

He added: "The department continues to work very closely with the facility to ensure that all infection control measures are being followed".

Adenovirus frequently causes mild to severe illness with cold-like symptoms, particularly in young children. The child had become ill before October 22, according to officials. Adenovirus hasn't been confirmed in another person who died Friday afternoon. A staff member at the facility also became ill, but has since recovered.

The agency said the most recent individual became sick on or before October 22, which remains the last day when a patient showed new symptoms.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control was assisting state health officials with testing and "expertise", according to the New Jersey Department.

This strain of adenovirus has been associated with communal living.

"Not all viruses are adenovirus". The patients affected had "severely compromised immune systems", including respiratory problems, before the outbreak.

This month, NJ.com reported that in the center's most recent health inspection report, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave the facility a "below average" score, and the 2017 report also said the facility "failed to ensure infection control practices were followed".

The department is continuing to investigate the outbreak.

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