9th death reported at pediatric center amid viral outbreak
31 October, 2018, 06:54 | Author: Keith Rowe
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.
The department confirmed 25 pediatric cases have been associated with the outbreak.
One staff member was also diagnosed but has since made a full recovery, officials said.
Those affected range in age from toddlers to young adults, with the vast majority under the age of 18.
The viruses are known to persist on unclean surfaces and medical instruments, and may not be eliminated by common disinfectants, but they rarely cause severe illness in healthy people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is assisting with the outbreak at the facility, and the Department of Health Communicable Disease Service is on site as well. "But they can also cause conjunctivitis and, particularly in children, diarrhea".
The outbreak has attacked children who were already weak with severely compromised immune systems, officials 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.
The 227-bed, for-profit facility has a pediatric center and also cares for elderly residents.
The strain of adenovirus is associated with communal living arrangements, it said.
He added: "The department continues to work very closely with the facility to ensure that all infection control measures are being followed". And for most patients, only home remedies and over-the-counter medicines to relieve symptoms are needed.
At the hospital, the state health department earlier said it found four Acinetobacter baumannii cases since October 1.
The bacterium can cause pneumonia or serious blood or wound infections.
Most adenovirus infections are mild, with symptoms usually lasting about 10 days, according to the CDC.
In the same report, the New Jersey spokeswoman Nicole Kirgan said children are particularly at risk with this virus.
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