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Respiratory Illness Associated With Emergent Human Adenovirus Genome Type 7d, New Jersey, 2016-2017.

BACKGROUND: Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) are known causes of respiratory illness outbreaks in congregate settings, but cases and clusters are less well described from community settings in the United States. During December 2016-February 2017, the New Jersey Department of Health received reports of HAdV infections from 3 sources in 3 adjacent counties. We investigated to characterize the epidemiologic, laboratory, and clinical features of this HAdV outbreak.

METHODS: A case was defined as a New Jersey resident with acute respiratory illness during December 1, 2016-March 31, 2017 with laboratory identification of HAdV genome type 7d (HAdV-7d). Human adenovirus was detected by real-time and conventional polymerase chain reaction and molecular typed by partial hexon capsid protein gene sequencing. The HAdV genome type was identified by whole genome sequencing analysis. Available medical, public health, and surveillance records were reviewed.

RESULTS: We identified 12 cases, including 3 treatment facility patients, 7 college students, and 2 cases at a tertiary-care hospital. Four cases died; all had underlying comorbidities. Nine HAdV-7d whole genome sequences obtained from all 3 sites were nearly identical.

CONCLUSIONS: Transmission of HAdV-7d occurred in community and congregate settings across 3 counties and resulted in severe morbidity and mortality in some cases with underlying comorbidities. Clinicians and local and state health departments should consider HAdV in patients with severe respiratory infection.

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