Nine children reported dead at New Jersey facility after contracting virus

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

Another child has died amid a deadly virus outbreak at a New Jersey rehabilitation, bringing the total number of deaths to nine, officials said Sunday. There have been 25 cases associated with the outbreak. It is awaiting laboratory confirmation of adenoviruses in a child who died Friday. A staff member also became ill but has recovered, the health department said.

The "medically fragile" unnamed child died overnight at Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, just two days after the facility announced the death of an eighth child.

"This is a tragic situation, and our thoughts are with the families who are grieving right now", New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a statement. The strain of adenovirus in the outbreak is linked to "communal living arrangements" and can be especially risky to people with weakened immune systems.

"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.

On Friday, an eighth child was confirmed dead following the viral outbreak, but officials say they do not now have laboratory confirmation of adenovirus in this child that's killed other pediatric patients at the facility.

The health department said this week the facility had been "instructed not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance".

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Adenovirus causes severe flu-like symptoms but can be even more unsafe than the typical flu virus. Some strains also cause diarrhea and conjunctivitis.

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

The department said it is an active outbreak investigation and lab tests could confirm additional cases.

The strain of adenovirus is associated with communal living arrangements, it said.

In rare cases among people with weakened immune systems, the viruses may cause pneumonia or inflammation of the brain and the tissues around it.

Those cases are not related to the virus at the Wanaque center, the Health Department said. The CDC is also investigating the outbreak.

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