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TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — A tenth person has died at a pediatric rehabilitation center amid an outbreak of a respiratory virus, New Jersey health officials said.
An additional “medically fragile child” who had a confirmed case of adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation died Wednesday night, the state’s health department said.
New diagnoses bring the total number of cases to 27.
Those affected range in age from toddlers to young adults, with the vast majority under age 18.
“The loss of these young lives is heartbreaking, and our thoughts are with the families who are affected,” Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said. “We are working closely with the facility to conduct respiratory illness surveillance and ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed. We are also engaging in discussions with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on standards for these facilities
Adenovirus usually poses little risk for healthy people and typically causes mild cold or flu symptoms. Some strains also cause diarrhea and conjunctivitis.
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 first symptoms showed up Sept. 26, and the state was notified of an outbreak Oct. 9, officials said.
The 227-bed, for-profit facility, which is closed to new patients, has a pediatric center and also cares for elderly residents.
No new residents are being admitted for the duration of the outbreak, which won’t be declared over until the center can go four weeks without any new cases.
On Wednesday, patients at a second New Jersey pediatric facility have been found to have a respiratory virus, but authorities say it’s a different strain from the one linked to the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)