Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Healthcare Roundup-Ninth child dies in New Jersey respiratory illness outbreak

Healthcare Roundup-Ninth child dies in New Jersey respiratory illness outbreak

New Jersey health officials say they've confirmed another case of adenovirus in an outbreak at a pediatric rehabilitation center that left nine people dead.

The "medically fragile" unnamed child died overnight at Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, just two days after the facility announced the death of an eighth child.

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. "We are working every day to ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed and closely monitoring the situation at the facility".

Adenovirus is a respiratory virus that can causes mild or serious illness. It is believed that the individuals who became ill contracted the virus between September 26 and October 22. Eleven other children remain sick.

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

The department says there have been eight pediatric deaths associated with the outbreak and at least one young adult.

At the hospital, the state health department earlier said it found four Acinetobacter baumannii cases since October 1.

Adenovirus is a respiratory disease with symptoms that may include a sore throat, pneumonia, diarrhea, pink eye, fever, and inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

"Not all viruses are adenovirus". 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.

A health department spokesman said: "The strain of adenovirus seen in this outbreak is associated with communal living arrangements and known to cause severe illness".

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".

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