Healthcare Roundup-Ninth child dies in New Jersey respiratory illness outbreak

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A ninth child has died in a New Jersey rehabilitation facility that is now suffering an adenovirus outbreak, according to officials.

The facility has now confirmed that 25 patients have been affected by adenovirus - a respiratory virus that causes flu- or cold-like symptoms, but can be far more harmful to those who have compromised immune systems.

Eight deaths at the facility have been confirmed as adenovirus-related. Twenty-five children have been sickened in the outbreak, as has one staff member at the facility.

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.

The Health Department says an inspection team found "minor handwashing deficiencies", and they continue to work closely with the nursing and rehab center on infection control issues.

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.

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The facility is still not admitting any new patients and won't until the outbreak is over. Some strains also cause diarrhea and conjunctivitis.

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 department said it is an active outbreak investigation and lab tests could confirm additional cases. "The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe".

"As part of an ongoing effort to ensure all infection control measures are followed, we are taking extra steps to monitor residents and staff for any signs of infectious illness", Elnahal said.

The bacterium can cause pneumonia or serious blood or wound infections.

In a statement, the facility said it "promptly notified all appropriate government agencies when the virus was initially identified". The CDC is also investigating the outbreak.