11th child dies in viral outbreak

Desiree Burns
November 18, 2018

The New Jersey Health Department has confirmed an 11th fatality from a deadly strain of a viral infection at a critical care pediatric facility in Passaic County.

The child was previously a resident t the Wanaque Center for Nursing and and Rehabilitation in Haskell and was among 34 pediatric adenovirus cases that have been associated with the current outbreak.

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

Shereef Elnahal, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, looks on during a news conference before talking about the 11th death in a viral outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation on November 16, 2018, in Jersey City, N.J. The infection can cause other illnesses, including pneumonia, diarrhea and bronchitis.

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A half-dozen cases of adenovirus are reported in a Camden County facility, but it's a far less severe strain and not life threatening.

Officials say the affected children became ill between September 26 and November 12 and had severely compromised immune systems.

The Department of Health's Communicable Disease service remains on site to monitor the outbreak.

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.

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