Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
Health Care | By Edgar Pierce

Ninth adenovirus-related death reported at Wanaque Center

Ninth adenovirus-related death reported at Wanaque Center

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

On Tuesday the New Jersey Department of Health announced the death of six pediatric residents at the center and the infection of 12 additional residents.

The for-profit facility has a pediatric centre and also cares for elderly residents. The confirmed cases became ill between September 26 and October 22.

As of the announcement, the total number of confirmed adenovirus cases at the facility is at 23, with seven deaths confirmed to be linked to the outbreak.

Adenovirus is a respiratory virus that can cause mild or serious illness, though serious illness is less common.

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

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Her mother says she was not made aware of the outbreak until Monday, the day before her daughter died and nearly three weeks after she was admitted to St. Joseph's Medical Center, reports.

The Wanaque Center, about 32 miles (50 km) northwest of NY, serves newborns to 22-year-olds who are "medically fragile". The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also there helping with lab testing and other expertise.

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

Those cases are not related to the virus at the Wanaque center, the Health Department said. "The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe", the department 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.

In a review by the government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Wanaque was awarded an above-average ranking in overall quality but was given a below-average health inspection rating. "But they're not almost as serious as influenza".

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