Ninth Child Dies in Virus Outbreak at NJ Center

Henrietta Brewer
October 31, 2018

New Jersey health officials say they've confirmed another case of adenovirus in an outbreak at a pediatric rehabilitation center that left nine people dead.

A general look of the marquee outside of the Wanaque Center For Nursing And Rehabilitation, where New Jersey state Health Department confirmed the 18 cases of adenovirus, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in Haskell, N.J. The outbreak has left six children dead and 12 others sick.

The department confirmed 25 pediatric cases have been associated with the outbreak.

The teams will assess infection prevention practices and deploy beginning in November, according to Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal.


"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.

"To date, confirmed cases became ill between September 26 and October 22", according to a health department statement. In extremely unusual cases, an adenovirus infection can result in death. The outbreak won't be declared over until the center can go four weeks without patients being newly infected.

While adenovirus typically does not cause serious illness, the children at the facility are quite ill, and therefore have compromised immune systems.

The viruses are known to persist on unclean surfaces and medical instruments, and may not be eliminated by common disinfectants, but they rarely cause severe illness in healthy people. "Often people become ill for many reasons, especially these medically fragile children who had respiratory problems as part of their underlying medical conditions", he said.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control was assisting state health officials with testing and "expertise", according to the New Jersey Department.

Most adenovirus infections are mild, with symptoms usually lasting about 10 days, according to the CDC.

The facility has since stopped admitting new residents as long as the outbreak is ongoing.

Hospitals in more than 30 countries around the world are detaining patients who can't pay their bills, according to an investigation by the Associated Press.


Adenovirus is a respiratory disease with symptoms that may include a sore throat, pneumonia, diarrhea, pink eye, fever, and inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

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