Ninth child dies following viral outbreak at New Jersey health care facility

Brittany Mendoza
October 31, 2018

The Westchester mother of a 16-year-old girl who was among seven dead in an adenovirus outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in North Jersey is demanding answers, ABC7 reports.

The patient was one of 25 sickened by an outbreak of a respiratory virus called adenovirus, which swept through Wanaque between September 26 and October 22, mainly affecting patients in the pediatric ventilator unit.

An eighth child's death on Friday afternoon was associated with the outbreak, Leusner said.

"This is a tragic situation, and our thoughts are with the families who are grieving right now", New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a statement.

Health officials found minor hand-washing deficiencies at the facility during visits last week, and have been working with the center on infection-control issues, the health department said.

Both the staff at the facility as well as state authorities are continuous in the efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

A ninth person has died at a pediatric rehabilitation center amid an outbreak of a respiratory virus, New Jersey health officials said.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is assisting with the outbreak at the facility, and the Department of Health Communicable Disease Service is on site as well.

The illness, identified as adenovirus 7, poses the most significant risk to patients with weakened immune systems or existing respiratory and cardiac disease. "The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe", according to the health department.

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". Some strains also cause diarrhea and pinkeye. The CDC is also investigating the outbreak.

Symptoms include a sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, fever, and neurologic disease.

Still, Schaffner doesn't think people need to be anxious about adenoviruses.

The department said the exact cause of death is under investigation.

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