9th death reported at pediatric center amid viral outbreak

9th child dies in adenovirus outbreak at NJ health facility, Health Department confirms

A child patient with respiratory illness at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell died Saturday, bringing the total deaths among facility residents to nine. Wednesday the department announced an additional child death.

U.S. health officials have confirmed another case of a virus that has left eight children dead at a paediatric rehabilitation centre.

In some versions of a story October 25 about a viral outbreak, The Associated Press misspelled the name of the New Jersey health commissioner.

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

The Wanaque Center, about 32 miles (50 km) northwest of NY, serves newborns to 22-year-olds who are "medically fragile".

The Department of Health's Communicable Disease service remains on site to monitor the outbreak.

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

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.

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".

"Facility outbreaks are not always preventable, but in response to what we have seen in Wanaque, we are taking aggressive steps to minimize the chance they occur among the most vulnerable patients in New Jersey", Elnahal said in a statement.

The department said the exact cause of death is under investigation. The infection spreads like the common cold and most patients recover after a brief illness. And while a vaccine exists, it's available only to military recruits. Type 7 is most commonly associated with acute respiratory disease, according to the CDC. They tend to be spread by coughing and sneezing, direct contact with an infected person, or touching objects and surfaces, such as door handles and light switches, where the viruses can live and remain infectious for days or weeks.

She described this family of viruses as "environmentally hardy". "That's kind of the easiest way to prevent inadvertently transporting something from your fingers into your nose or mouth".

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. They're awaiting test results.

"Am I angry? I think what it is I need to know information, I like facts", Poulous told WABC.

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