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Officials identify 26th case of viral outbreak

31 October 2018

A ninth child has died in an adenovirus outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in New Jersey, according to the state's health department. It is awaiting laboratory confirmation of adenoviruses in a child who died Friday.

Teams will also be sent to the Voorhees Pediatric Facility in the state, and the Children's Specialised Hospital with locations in Toms River and Mountainside.

The "medically fragile" child, whose identity was not made public, died late Saturday at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, N.J., just one day after the facility's eighth death.

"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 released on Sunday.

"The Department continues to work very closely with the facility to ensure that all infection control measures are being followed", the Wanaque facility said in a statement Wednesday. The outbreak won't be declared over until the center can go four weeks without patients being newly infected.

The highly contagious adenovirus poses little to risk to healthy people.

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 affected range in age from toddlers to young adults, with the vast majority under age 18.

The strain found in the rehab center outbreak is among the more potent types and sometimes causes more serious respiratory illness, especially among those with weak immune systems. The facility has been told it can't admit any new patients until the outbreak ends.

The mother of a 16-year-old girl who was killed by the viral outbreak said her daughter Elizabeth was diagnosed days before state health officials knew about the virus.

This strain of adenovirus has been associated with communal living.

The Department of Health's Communicable Disease service remains on site to monitor the outbreak.

The marquee outside the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, N.J.is pictured October 23, 2018.

The viruses themselves are also "resistant to many common disinfectants and can remain infectious for long periods on environmental surfaces and medical instruments", the CDC says.

Officials identify 26th case of viral outbreak