10th Child Dies from Adenovirus Outbreak at New Jersey Care Center

A 10th child died Wednesday night from adenovirus after an outbreak at a New Jersey long-term care center that has infected 27 medically fragile children, the state Health Department said.

The death came as the outbreak entered its sixth week at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. A second outbreak, believed to be a different type of adenovirus, was confirmed Wednesday at the Voorhees Pediatric Center in Camden County.

Four children have been affected in Voorhees with a milder form of illness, Shereef Elnahal, the state health commissioner, said. Preliminary tests indicated it was not the same type of the virus as has swept through the Wanaque center.

“The loss of these young lives is heartbreaking, and our thoughts are with the families who are affected,” Elnahal said of the death. “We are working closely with the facility to conduct respiratory illness surveillance and ensure all infection control protocols are continuously followed.”

All of the children infected in the two outbreaks have severely compromised immune systems, the Health Department said. The department has not identified the children by name, age or gender, citing privacy concerns. They have ranged from toddlers to young adults, the vast majority under 18. Most depend on ventilators or tracheostomies to breathe.

The Health Department has stationed a staff member at the Wanaque long-term care center full-time to monitor its implementation of infection-control procedures.

The center has stopped admitting new patients until the end of the outbreak. The diagnosis of the most recent case means the earliest endpoint for the outbreak would come in four weeks, or Nov. 24.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Lindy Washburn