9th death reported at pediatric center amid viral outbreak

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

The New Jersey Department of Health confirmed another child has died at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, bringing the number of deaths at the facility to nine. Wednesday the department announced an additional child death. Adenovirus hasn't been confirmed in another person who died Friday afternoon.

Officials say the outbreak occurred between September 26 and October 22.

The children affected were previously described in a health department statement as "medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems". They also note this strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living facilities.

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

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

"We are working every day to ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed and closely monitoring the situation at the facility", he said.

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. The CDC is also investigating the outbreak. The infection spreads like the common cold and most patients recover after a brief illness. Adenovirus is a respiratory virus that can cause mild or serious illness, though serious illness is less common. And while a vaccine exists, it's available only to military recruits.

Hospitals in more than 30 countries around the world are detaining patients who can't pay their bills, according to an investigation by the Associated Press.

She described this family of viruses as "environmentally hardy".

The infections "usually occur sporadically - here a case, there a case - so outbreaks are pretty rare", Schaffner said.

Symptoms include a sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, fever, and neurologic disease. These six types accounted for 85.5% of 1,497 laboratory-confirmed specimens reported during the time period.

There have been 25 total cases of the virus at the facility.

"People know patients are being held prisoner, but they probably think they have bigger battles in public health to fight, so they just have to let this go", Sophie Harman, a global health expert at Queen Mary University of London, said.

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