7th child dies from adenovirus outbreak at New Jersey rehabilitation center

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy speaks about the adenovirus outbreak as New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal looks during

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy speaks about the adenovirus outbreak as New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal looks during

The adenovirus outbreak at Wanaque (N.J.) Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation killed a seventh child, New Jersey Department of Health officials confirmed October 24, according to CBS News.

The strain afflicting the children is usually associated with acute respiratory illness, according to the CDC, which on its website instructs health workers to report unusual clusters to state or local health departments.

The rehabilitation center notified the health department of respiratory illnesses at the facility October 9 and sent letters to patients' parents, notifying them about the infections October 19, according to CNN.

That brings the death toll to seven - most under the age of 18 - officials at the state's Health Department said Wednesday.

"It's more risky in children or adults who are immuno-compromised", Ellerin said.

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.

The agency had said Tuesday that six children died this month. Elnahal described the patients as "fragile" and said they had "baseline" respiratory issues, as well.

"Unfortunately, we have hundreds of these types of outbreaks per year", the commissioner said in the interview.

The for-profit facility has a pediatric center and also cares for elderly residents.

The president of a nurses union said Wednesday that nurses have complained about staffing shortages at Wanaque, which she said may lead to poor infection control practices that could put patient safety at risk. But the state has barred the center from taking new patients until the outbreak ends.

The center referred questions to a spokesman, who said he was preparing a statement for release later Wednesday.

In addition the seven who have died, eleven other children are confirmed to have the infection.

The exact cause of the outbreak is still unknown, although the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation cares for pediatric patients with various medical conditions that make them more susceptible to serious infections.

In the past 10 years, cases of severe illness and death from the type of infection found at Wanaque have been reported in the United States, but it's unclear how many deaths there were.

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