Friday, 16 November, 2018

Adenovirus outbreak claims 9th child at New Jersey facility

9th child dies in adenovirus outbreak at NJ health facility, Health Department confirms Adenovirus outbreak claims 9th child at New Jersey facility
Delia Stanley | 31 October, 2018, 06:55

An eighth child has died at a New Jersey rehabilitation center where 23 people have been infected in a deadly viral outbreak, state health officials said on Friday.

Among the 25 confirmed adenovirus cases among residents, there have been eight pediatric deaths confirmed with adenovirus, according to the NJ Health Department.

A staff member who had fallen ill has since recovered from this strain of adenovirus, but the medically fragile children are the ones most vulnerable to the virus.

The child, already fragile and suffering respiratory illness, was not confirmed to have a common infection, health officials said. The children range in age from toddlers to young adults.

Adenovirus causes severe flu-like symptoms but can be even more unsafe than the typical flu virus.

"The facility has agreed to cease new admissions for the duration of the outbreak", the department said.

The infection can cause other illnesses, including pneumonia, diarrhea and bronchitis, the department said.

The health department says the adenovirus outbreak has been particularly severe because it is affecting children with severely compromised immune systems.

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

The 227-bed, for-profit facility, which is closed to new patients, has a pediatric center and also cares for elderly residents.

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

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

In the same report, the New Jersey spokeswoman Nicole Kirgan said children are particularly at risk with this virus. In extremely unusual cases, an adenovirus infection can result in death. Adenoviruses usually just cause mild illnesses.

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

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