Eighth child dies at New Jersey rehabilitation facility

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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.

The new diagnosis of adenovirus brings the total number of cases at the rehabilitation centre to 26.

Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said the first symptoms showed up September 26, and the state was notified of an outbreak October 9.

Health officials found minor hand-washing deficiencies at the facility during visits last week, and have been working with the center on infection-control issues, the health department said. The health department was first notified of the outbreak on October 9, according to a statement from the agency.

The child, already fragile and suffering respiratory illness, was not confirmed to have a common infection, health officials said.

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.

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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In the same report, the New Jersey spokeswoman Nicole Kirgan said children are particularly at risk with this virus.

"The strain of adenovirus seen in this outbreak is associated with communal living arrangements and known to cause severe illness, especially in those with compromised immune systems", the department said on Friday.

According to health officials, the child had a confirmed case of adenovirus and became ill before October 22.

The teen - who has been a longterm care patient at the facility for four years - was apparently diagnosed with the virus several days before the NJ Health Department was notified of the outbreak, the WABC article says.

The state health department has sent a team of investigators to the facility to determine the cause of the outbreak.

Adenovirus is mild and feels like a cold or flu, experts say. The CDC is also investigating the outbreak.

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