Ninth child dies from adenovirus at medical center

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New Jersey health officials say a ninth death has occurred at a pediatric rehabilitation center amid an outbreak of a respiratory virus.

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. A staff member at the facility also became ill, but has since recovered.

Twenty-five pediatric cases of adenovirus have been connected to the outbreak at this facility, officials said.

The nine children who died in the outbreak that began September 26 range in age from toddler to young adult, with a lot of them under age 18.

Adenovirus causes severe flu-like symptoms but can be even more unsafe than the typical flu virus.

While workers with the Department of Health Communicable Disease Service and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working on stopping the outbreak, no new residents will be admitted to the Wanaque Center. Some strains also cause diarrhea and pinkeye.

Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said the first symptoms showed up September 26, and the state was notified of an outbreak October 9.

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The ninth child became ill before October 22 and died on October 28, the New Jersey Department of Health said.

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

The most recent date of illness onset was October 22, and it is believed that those sickened became ill between September 26 and October 22. The strain of adenovirus in the outbreak is linked to "communal living arrangements" and can be especially risky to people with weakened immune systems.

A premature baby amid died bacterial infections at the Newark hospital this month.

Health Department spokeswoman Donna Leusner said Thursday the person had already been ill so the diagnosis does not necessarily mean the virus is still spreading.

Those cases are not related to the virus at the Wanaque center, the Health Department said.