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. The state’s Department of Health said the victim was a “medically fragile” child who had a confirmed case of adenovirus.
The unidentified child died Saturday evening at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, the department said. There have been 25 cases associated with the outbreak.
“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. “We are working every day to ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed and closely monitoring the situation at the facility.”
Adenoviruses are a family of viruses that account for about 5 to 10 percent of fevers in young children, but most patients recover. The infections can affect the tissue linings of the respiratory tract, eyes, intestines, urinary tract and nervous system, causing illnesses ranging from a cold to bronchitis to pneumonia to pink eye.
The children at Wanaque appear to have been more susceptible to serious infections due to their other medical conditions.
Children at the center are severely disabled, with some living in comas, and for many, it is their permanent home, the Bergen Record reports. Many will never walk or talk, and some have spent virtually their whole lives there, according to the paper.
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