11th Patient Dies Amid Viral Outbreak At New Jersey Care Facility

Henrietta Strickland
November 19, 2018

The New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) reported a severely ill child with a confirmed case of adenovirus died Thursday night in a North Jersey hospital. The Department will not consider the outbreak over until four weeks after the last illness onset., which is November 12.

Earlier this week, the state prohibited new admissions to the entire facility and mandated that it hire a certified Infection Control Practitioner and a physician or physician practice board certified in infectious disease.

The deaths of the first six children at the facility's pediatric centre were announced by health officials on October 23.

Meanwhile, state Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal is asking respiratory therapists, nurses and nurses' aides who have experience caring for chronically ill children and are members of the state's Medical Reserve Corps to volunteer for work at the center.

Adenovirus is a respiratory virus that can causes mild or serious illness. The infection can cause other illnesses, including pneumonia, diarrhea and bronchitis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also there helping with lab testing and other expertise. However, tests suggest that the culprit is adenovirus type 3, a different strain than the one in Wanaque.

Health officials say they are stepping up efforts to strengthen infection control at such facilities in the state.

Elnahal said in a statement that the findings of a recent unannounced health inspection at the Wanaque facility "raise questions about whether these general longterm care standards are optimal for this vulnerable population of medically fragile children".

The facility has declined multiple requests for comment.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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