A ninth child died over the weekend in a deadly viral outbreak at a New Jersey rehabilitation center where a total of 25 young patients with compromised immune systems have been confirmed with adenovirus infections, state health officials said.
The latest death occurred Friday when a child succumbed to adenovirus, according to officials. A staff member at the facility also became ill, but has since recovered.
"This is a tragic situation, and our thoughts are with the families who are grieving right now", Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said.
"As part of an ongoing effort to ensure all infection control measures are followed, we are taking extra steps to monitor residents and staff for any signs of infectious illness", Elnahal said.
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Adenovirus is a respiratory virus that can causes mild or serious illness.
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.
This 1981 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a group of adenovirus virions.
"The facility has agreed to cease new admissions for the duration of the outbreak", the department said.
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At the hospital, the state health department earlier said it found four Acinetobacter baumannii cases since October 1. "The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe", the department said in a statement.
All nine were in the pediatric unit of the Wanaque Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation in Haskell, Passaic County. Symptoms include the common cold, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, pink eye, and fever and bladder infections.
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 viruses themselves are also "resistant to many common disinfectants and can remain infectious for long periods on environmental surfaces and medical instruments", the CDC says.
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