Nine children reported dead at New Jersey facility after contracting virus

Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation

Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation

An eighth child died Friday afternoon following a monthlong adenovirus outbreak at a rehabilitation centre in New Jersey, the state's Department of Health said.

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.

"This latest death was an individual who had a confirmed case of adenovirus and had become ill before October 22", explains health officials. A staff member also became ill, and there have been eight pediatric deaths.

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

"They cause principally a whole bunch of minor troublesome infections spread by children, often from children to adults", he said.

While adenovirus typically does not cause serious illness, the children at the facility are quite ill, and therefore have compromised immune systems.

The nine children who died in the outbreak that began September 26 range in age from toddler to young adult, with a lot of them under age 18.

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A sign for the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in New Jersey, where six children died from an outbreak of adenovirus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was assisting with laboratory testing.

In a statement, the facility said it "promptly notified all appropriate government agencies when the virus was initially identified".

The state health department has sent a team of investigators to the facility to determine the cause of the outbreak.

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, NorthJersey.com reports.

The strain of adenovirus is associated with communal living arrangements, it said.

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". It usually causes symptoms that mimic the common cold or the flu, and may come with other conditions, such as pink eye, according to the CDC.

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