HASKELL, N.J. (CBS) — A ninth child has died at a New Jersey rehabilitation facility following a viral outbreak. The New Jersey Department of Health says the medically fragile child with a respiratory illness died Saturday evening at a hospital.
“This latest death was an individual who had a confirmed case of adenovirus and had become ill before Oct. 22,” explains health officials.
On Friday, an eighth child was confirmed dead following the viral outbreak, but officials say they do not currently have laboratory confirmation of adenovirus in this child that’s killed other pediatric patients at the facility.
There have been 25 total cases of the virus at the facility.
“This is an active investigation of an outbreak of adenovirus so it is possible that lab tests will confirm additional cases,” the state’s health department said in a statement.
A staff member who had fallen ill has since recovered from this strain of adenovirus, but the medically fragile children are the ones most vulnerable to the virus.
“Unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus (#7) in this outbreak is affecting medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems. The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe,” the department said in a statement.
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.
The facility has been told not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends.
Adenoviruses make up about 5 to 10 percent of fevers in young children. The infection spreads like the common cold and most patients recover after a brief illness.
This strain of adenovirus has been associated with communal living.
The department is continuing to investigate the outbreak.