2nd pediatric facility in New Jersey hit by viral outbreak


The New Jersey Department of Health has confirmed that a 10th child has fallen victim to adenovirus infection at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell. The affected children had severely compromised immune systems.

While the age of the 10th child who died was not given, the ages of the first nine patients who succumbed to the virus ranged from toddler to young adults, a lot of them under 18.

So far, those affected by the virus had become ill between September 26 and October 29, the statement said.

New Jersey Health officials previously said Wanaque was cited in 2016 and 2017 for washing deficiencies, improper storage of syringes, failure to disinfect surfaces and other issues.

"We are working closely with the facility to conduct respiratory illness surveillance and ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed", New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said.

The department also said Thursday the illness was last detected on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

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Meanwhile, a second outbreak, confirmed to be a milder form of adenovirus - has infected four children at the Voorhees Pediatric Center in Camden County, officials said.

Adenovirus usually poses little risk for healthy people. Other types of adenovirus infections can cause flu-like symptoms, pink eye and diarrhea.

No new residents are being admitted for the duration of the outbreak, which won't be declared over until the center can go four weeks without any new cases. It sometimes causes more serious respiratory illness, especially among those with weak immune systems.

The outbreak appears to be confined to the facility's respiratory unit, he added.

"As a parent and as a legislator, I am absolutely horrified by the details that have emerged surrounding the viral outbreak at the Wanaque Center", said Assemblywoman Joann Downey, D-11th District and chair of the Human Services Committee, in a statement. The department has since said one staff member became ill but has recovered.

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