Healthcare Roundup-Ninth child dies in New Jersey respiratory illness outbreak

Faith Castro
October 31, 2018

New Jersey health officials say a ninth death has occurred at a pediatric rehabilitation center amid an outbreak of a respiratory virus.

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

"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 released on Sunday.

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. A staff member also became ill but has recovered, the health department said. The children range in age from toddlers to young adults. It said it did not have laboratory confirmation of adenovirus in the child. "This is an active investigation of an outbreak of adenovirus so it is possible that lab tests will confirm additional cases".

The facility is still not admitting any new patients and won't until the outbreak is over.

The highly contagious adenovirus poses little to risk to healthy people.

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

This 1981 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a group of adenovirus virions.

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.

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

Adenovirus is a respiratory virus that can causes mild or serious illness. Type 7 is most commonly associated with acute respiratory disease, according to the CDC. 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.

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

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