Wanaque Pediatric

Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation

9th child dies as viral outbreak continues at New Jersey rehab facility

October 28, 2018 - 11:21 am

HASKELL, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- Another child living in a New Jersey rehab facility that has been at the center of an adenovirus outbreak has died, health officials said Sunday.

The child is the ninth to die amid an adenovirus outbreak sweeping through the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell.

He or she came down with the virus sometime before Oct. 22, according to the state’s Health Department. Oct. 22 remains the most recent date of illness onset, but cases stretch back to Sept. 26.

As of Sunday, there were a total of 25 confirmed adenovirus cases associated with the outbreak. A staff member of the facility also became ill during the outbreak but has since recovered.

“This is a tragic situation, and our thoughts are with the families who are grieving right now,” Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said. “We are working every day to ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed.”

The Health Department said lab tests for a child whose death was announced Friday haven’t yet confirmed he or she had adenovirus.

The cases at the pediatric center involved children in the facility’s pediatric ventilator unit, and the kids had severely compromised immune systems before the outbreak began, according to officials.

Health officials warned that the outbreak is ongoing and that lab tests could confirm additional cases.

The Health Department said in the statement that it is still investigating the outbreak and that a staff member from the agency’s Communicable Disease Service was on site at the facility to monitor the outbreak.

Adenovirus is respiratory virus that most often causes mild symptoms, such as the common cold, sore throat, bronchitis, fever and diarrhea. However, the strain of the virus found in the children at Wanaque, adenovirus #7, causes more severe illness and is associated with communal living arrangements.

As the investigation continues and the outbreak persists, the facility has agreed to cease new admissions. It is also offering grief counseling to anyone affected by the outbreak, and on Thursday, it established a 24/7 hotline for families who were affected.

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