The nine children who died in the outbreak that began September 26 range in age from toddler to young adult, with majority under age 18.


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. During a site visit last week, inspectors identified "hand-washing deficiencies", and state health officials have barred the center from admitting new patients until the outbreak is past.

"This is a tragic situation, and our thoughts are with the families who are grieving right now", Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a statement released on Sunday.

The for-profit facility has a pediatric centre and also cares for elderly residents. "The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe", the department said in a statement.

The department said it is an active outbreak investigation and lab tests could confirm additional cases.


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

The bacterium can cause pneumonia or serious blood or wound infections.

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

Eight deaths at the facility have been confirmed as adenovirus-related.


"People know patients are being held prisoner, but they probably think they have bigger battles in public health to fight, so they just have to let this go", Sophie Harman, a global health expert at Queen Mary University of London, said.

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