Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
Medical | By Bryan Strickland

9th death reported at pediatric center amid viral outbreak

9th death reported at pediatric center amid viral outbreak

The department can not confirm that the death of an individual who died Friday afternoon was related to the outbreak, officials said.

The highly contagious adenovirus poses little to risk to healthy people. "This is an active investigation of an outbreak of adenovirus so it is possible that lab tests will confirm additional cases". It said it did not have laboratory confirmation of adenovirus in the child.

The for-profit facility has a pediatric centre and also cares for elderly residents. The facility has been barred from admitting new patients for the duration of the outbreak.

The timing of the deaths is not clear.

The individuals associated with the outbreak became ill between September 26 and October 22, the Health Department said.

The department is continuing to investigate the outbreak.

A team at the facility on Sunday found minor hand-washing deficiencies. "We are working every day to ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed and closely monitoring the situation at the facility".

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

Those affected at the Wanaque center range in age from toddlers to young adults.

It usually affects the respiratory system, but it can also cause gastroenteritis and conjunctivitis. "The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe", the department said in a statement.

Those cases are not related to the virus at the Wanaque center, the Health Department said.

All nine were in the pediatric unit of the Wanaque Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation in Haskell, Passaic County. Based on an inspection conducted in August, CMS reported that "it was determined that the facility failed to provide a clean and homelike physical environment for their residents". The infection spreads like the common cold and most patients recover after a brief illness. Some strains also cause diarrhea and pinkeye.

The bacterium can cause pneumonia or serious blood or wound infections. In extremely unusual cases, an adenovirus infection can result in death. Adenoviruses usually just cause mild illnesses.

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